Students from the Cannon Beach Academy carried on a nine-year-long tradition of planting trees Thursday, April 12, in honor the Cannon Beach’s 12 Days of Earth Day celebration.

With the helps of the parks department, students helped plant baby spruce trees along the perimeter of the former Cannon Beach Elementary School. Following tradition, each student was able to name their tree. Anyone walking through NeCus Park will now see a dozen trees wooden stakes that read names like “Bob,” “Flower” or “Bruce Jet.”

This year’s tree planting signified more than just the coming of Earth Day, however. In years past, the tree planting was always done by Cannon Beach Elementary School students along the lagoon. But since the school closed in 2014, the planting project has been carried out by any kid interested in the area. Now with the Academy in full swing, the tradition of having a Cannon Beach school participate do the planting has been reinstated.

“It feels wonderful,” said 12 Days of Earth Day coordinator Barb Knop with regards to having a new school be a part of the planting. “It’s kind of ironic that this year we’re doing (the planting) on the old school grounds. We decided there was enough planted around the lagoon trail, and that it was time to find a new spot. New school, new spot.”

The purpose of the activity Knop said is to help give children in the area a sense of ownership of the environment around them. The first generation of tree-planters from Cannon Beach Elementary School are now becoming juniors and seniors in high school, Knop said, and occassionally will still ask her about the state of the tree they planted more than nine years ago.

“The whole purpose of (the 12 Days of Earth Day) is to educate, whether that be the youngest or the oldest in the community,” Knop said. “We want to foster stewardship for the youngest in the hopes that they continue it in their own life.”


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