Roosevelt third-graders will sure have their parents hauling out the shovels this weekend.
Emmet County Conservation Board naturalist Jenna Pollock Friday brought trees for every student in third grade, with the idea that they and their families would help make Estherville and the surrounding area a little shadier and greener in coming years.
It was all part of Arbor Day, which Pollock said is celebrated in nearly every country.
"The celebration of Arbor Day is universal," Pollock said. "Trees are a symbol of life."
Pollock told the third-graders they'd need to find a good location for the red maples donated by the Emmet County Soil and Water Conservation District. That meant not under telephone poles or next to houses. And when they do plant the trees, Pollock suggested if they're not sure about the location of utilities that they call the Iowa One Call free locater service at 1-800-292-8989.
Since the trees will span to 40-60 feet and be the same height, Pollock told the student they should take 20 steps away from their house before planting them.
First, though, they should soak the tree roots in water overnight then dig a hole a foot to a foot and a half wide and plant the tree to the water line.
Then they should mulch it and water it well.
Pollock said the first arbor Day was in 1872 and President Theodore Roosevelt popularized it when he made it a national holiday in 1907.