An overcast sky did not dampen the spirits of young Cannon Beach Academy students the afternoon of April 12 as they participated in a time-honored tradition of planting trees in recognition of Earth Day, which is celebrated annually in Cannon Beach with the 12 Days of Earth Day.

With the assistance of the city’s Public Works Department, the students planted a few trees both on the academy grounds as well as the south end of Tolovana near the exit off U.S. Highway 101.

“Traditionally, we have always planted trees with the elementary students in Cannon Beach,” said Barb Knop, a member of the academy’s board of directors and chair for the city of Cannon Beach’s 12 Days of Earth Day event.

When the elementary school closed, the tree-planting continued with students “borrowed” from the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District’s after-school program, she said. With the establishment of the academy in 2017, however, the institution’s elementary students could once again partake. Last year, they planted trees at the old elementary school site, and this year, brought the tradition closer to their new home.

After planting trees —o ne for each of the school’s three classrooms — on school grounds, the students walked south to the site of Cannon Beach’s “Tree City USA” sign. From setting the small saplings in the earth to giving them unique names, the students were involved in the process from start to finish.

The students also marked the height of the new trees on the stakes supporting them to better monitor and measure their growth throughout the years, Knop said. Giving the students an opportunity to help plant the trees also provides them a sense of ownership and responsibility that lasts past their school days. Even now, Knop has former students who ask after the wellbeing of the tree they planted by name.

In other news:

• The academy’s board of directors, who had its regular meeting Thursday, April 14, is looking for new board members. The board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the school. Interested candidates can contact thecannonbeachacademy@gmail.com.

• The board is considering organizing a transportation committee to work on the organization’s ongoing goal of providing bus transportation to students who attend the academy. Currently, families are responsible for transporting students to and from school. The academy, which is part of the Seaside School District, must figure out the logistics — including funding, which entity will make the purchase, and potential routes. There is no timeline in place for when transportation will be instituted, but it is a continuous discussion and important goal for the school, Knop said.

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