College to give trees to elementary school

The College plans to relocate three of the five red maple trees overshadowing the Weston Field parking area to the Williamstown Elementary School today. The uprooting of the trees is a necessary precondition for construction work to begin on the Weston Field Project. “Given our commitment to principles of sustainability, it seemed important to try to relocate these trees rather than destroy them, as trees consume carbon dioxide, provide shade and enhance the beauty of our natural environment,” said Stephanie Boyd, director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.
Parents of students at the Elementary School were the first to realize that the trees could improve the School’s landscaping and contacted Boyd about acquiring them. “We were hoping to find a location that benefited both the town and the College,” she said. “It seemed like a great fit to all of us.”
The trees are now between 12 and 15 years old and 15 and 20 feet high. At full maturity, they will reach a height of about 50 feet, offering shade both to children playing and spectators watching games on the fields at the elementary school.
“Williamstown Elementary is fortunate to have such a partnership with the College,” said Steve Johnson, principal of the School.
The cooler temperatures of fall provide ideal conditions for replanting maples.
The College will cover the relocation process, which involves the use of a tree spade to lift the tree and its root system from the earth. The school district has valued the gift amount at $5,000.
As the School needs only three of the five trees, the College will relocate the remaining two to Stetson Court, just south of Mather House.
The $17.6 million Weston Field complex renovation was originally slated to begin this November but has been postponed to next year due to economic uncertainty.