THE EAST COUNTY CALIFORNIAN
by Betty McMillen
With the help of Common Vision, a team of young adults who travel around the county teaching students about planting trees, Tierra Del Sol Middle School sixth graders learned all about fruit trees, from how to plant them, taking care of them, and how pollination works.
The 216 students were from the various science classes, all eager to learn about creating a fruit tree orchard. For some it was a once in a lifetime experience, for others they said they had some experience with helping with their grandparents fruit trees.
The team leader of Common Vision, Leo Buc, said there are 25 young adults ages 23 to 35 who come from all parts of the USA, they apply for a six to seven week volunteer position, traveling around California helping schools plant fruit orchards and teaching the students everything they need to know about fruit trees. The TDS students were eager to learn and some even wanted to get their hands dirty, pushing and mixing the soil around the little fruit trees. Others were satisfied with using shovels and tools. 200 schools in California will get the experience of planting an orchard with the help of Common Vision. Three Lakeside schools were involved with their help, Tierra Del Sol Middle School, Riverview Elementary School and Lakeside Middle School.
All the fruit trees selected will bear fruit during the school year, when the students can interact with the tree and see its process of producing buds, flowering, leafing out, growing fruit to maturity and enjoying the harvest. Teacher Jan Land said she is very excited about this project.
“This is all a part of the Eating Healthy education series being taught at Lakeside schools.”
Some of the trees planted included, bear root apple trees, bananas trees, Tiger Striped Fig tree, orange trees and other citrus. Five to six students on a team planted a total of 18 trees within a short amount of time. While they were planting, their team leader from Common Vision was teaching them about the life cycle of the tree. It will take three to five years before the trees bear fruit.
While some students planted, others worked on art projects such as tree signs, labeling and information about the trees. Everyone was having fun on this warm, sunny, California winter day.
Angi Mosier, who is a community volunteer, got the schools interested in creating gardens and orchards. She said that Riverview’s garden was named in memory of Harold Hilliker. To help the gardens and orchards along she was able to get some donations for the projects from the Lakeside Highway Lions Club, Lakeside Garden Club, Stadium Association and Optimist Club. RC Block donated materials and other funds came from her own Foundation which is a non profit organization named Helping Our Way, which she and her husband, Jerry, created to beautify Lakeside and teach students about agriculture, gardening and creating an orchard. They