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Students plant legacy trees

Staff photo: Heather Darenberg
White Oak Elementary School fifth-graders Fariha Chowdhury, left, and Leah Doe plant a white oak tree Friday in front of their school. The students planted 90 trees, creating a grove in front of the school.

Staff photo: Heather Darenberg White Oak Elementary School fifth-graders Fariha Chowdhury, left, and Leah Doe plant a white oak tree Friday in front of their school. The students planted 90 trees, creating a grove in front of the school.

SUGAR HILL -- White Oak Elementary School sits on land that once contained groves of white oaks.

On Friday, fifth-grade students created a new grove, planting 90 white oaks in front of the school.

This year was the first in a six-year plan to plant many more trees on campus, said Randy Nass, a parent and owner of Design South, a landscaping design and build firm.

For the next five years, the fifth-graders will create a legacy by planting a grove of trees, Nass said. The project will conclude when the current kindergartners are in fifth grade.

"I think it's very memorable, and it will help the kids realize we're the first fifth-grade class to put a sentiment into the school," 11-year-old Makayla Bingham said.

Principal Jean Loethan-Payne said the thinks the project will set the tone for a school that has a history of heritage. White Oak Elementary opened this year, but in the early 1900s, a one-room schoolhouse by the same name existed.

"It's meaningful to the students, it's meaningful to the school, and it helps build that sense of community and tradition," she said.