Science teacherNorth Bend, Nebraska
Trees Provide Shade and an Opportunity for Education
North Bend Central High School had an unshaded building and barren sports fields adjacent to cornfields. It is a place that can become very hot from spring through autumn.
Science teacher and sports coach Bob Feurer decided the site needed trees. Eventually he heard about the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Nebraska Forest Service, that offers trees at low cost.
Bob used its trees to plant around the school, focusing on a walkway that connected with a nearby nursing home. Bob, students and other volunteers also planted around the sports fields. There are now 145 species of trees and shrubs on the property. The site is valued by the entire town, bringing out residents of all ages who use if for recreation and exercise.
One neighbor told Bob that he wouldn't have survived his heart attack without the exercise he got on the shaded trail. The trees have also contributed to education. Bob received the 2011 Nebraska Teacher of the Year award and he says,
"Much of that had to do with what I could do because of this facility, and what I could teach because of it." The teaching benefits not only his students, but community residents who ask him questions about the greenery. Thanks to Bob's former students and his on-site outreach to residents, the entire town is now filled with well cared-for trees.