Students Help Plant Trees Along Scranton Trail

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Some middle and high schoolers in Scranton spent the day out of the classroom and getting their hands dirty as they volunteered to plant hundreds of trees along a trail in the city.

Students were handed shovels and sent out in the rain. But don't be fooled, this is far better than being in class.

"Is that even a question? Of course!" junior Ciara Grasso said.

Their assignment for the day was to dig hundreds of holes.

"Just shoveling the dirt, that's the hardest part about it, but it's for a good cause," said seventh grader Javon James.

They're planting trees along the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail in the city as a late celebration of Arbor Day.

PPL donated the trees that the students are planting, 370 saplings in all.

There were maples, pines, and spruces that will all come to shade this part of the heritage trail.

"They're going to grow up among them. It'll make a thicker forest along the trail. That's the purpose of it, make a thicker forest along the trail," explained Tony Santoli, Scranton city forester. "These are all going to survive. They planted them well, and I'm very proud of what they did. I really am, can't get over it."

Santoli was proudest of the personal growth going on here.

"People are littering, and people are chopping down trees. It's not good for the environment, and it's good to get out and do something good for the environment," James said.

It's an investment in the environment that these middle and high schoolers will get to watch for years to come.

"It's going to be really cool when I see the trees I've planted and they've grown," said Grasso.

"It will definitely make me feel proud to be walking down this trail and be like, 'Wow, I did that!" said Cassidy Weber, a junior.

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