Seedlings Project

The Seedlings Project

At the start of his term, Ian Riseley, Rotary International President declared 2018 The Year of the Tree and challenged the 1.2 million worldwide membership of Rotary to plant a tree for each club member on Earth Day. The Weston-Wayland Rotary Club embraced this challenge and expanded the program to include distributing Green Giant Arbor Vitae to first graders in Weston.

The project was so well-received, and so much fun for our Club members, that we made it an annual activity for our club. In 2019 we expanded the distribution to all first graders in both Weston and Wayland. In 2020, when Covid disrupted the school year we canceled our distribution. However, in 2021, when schools were back we created a video and doubled our order to 800 seedlings so we could catch up and get seedlings to both first and second graders. In 2023, we will be back in the classrooms and will distribute 500 seedlings in our community which will bring our total distribution to 2400 seedlings since the program started. 

Our plant of choice is the Green Giant Arbor Vitae. It was selected for its resistance to both insect pests and deer as well as its beautiful green color and fast growth.  They can grow up to 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide and can live for up to 100 years. When a Green Giant Arborvitae seedling is planted in full sun it may grow about 1 foot per year for the first five years, then about 2 feet per year for the next 5 years, and after 10 years it will grow up to 3 feet per year!

In late April of each year Rotarians, friends of Rotary from middle and high school students, and business networking contacts gather to prepare the seedlings for school distribution for Earth Day. The seedlings are delivered to the Wayland elementary schools of Happy Hollow, Loker, and Claypit Hill as well as Weston elementary schools of Country and Woodland.