Saipan International School students are stepping up to help abate the effects of climate change one tree at a time.
Over 40 SIS students trooped to Micro Beach in Garapan yesterday to plant native trees on the shorelines of Saipan, as part of the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance’s “Bring Back Our Trees” campaign.
“For our generation, we are left with a world that is broken with climate change,” said SIS student Annamarie Devey, who helped plant about 30 native trees with other SIS students. “Climate change is important. Don’t deny it and try to get involved as much as you can. It is really up to us to save Earth.”
MINA’s original goal was to plant 300 native trees to replace the ones uprooted by super typhoons Soudelor in 2015 and Yutu in 2018. However, with the many community organizations and school groups, like SIS, that volunteered to help restore the trees, MINA had already planted double that target, with over 600 trees now planted around the island.
Aside from planting trees, the students also met scientists from Guam who are on the island for the Terrestrial Conservation Conference and Workshop.
“It is good to get the students out of the classroom,” said SIS science teacher April Liske-Clark. “They are learning about evolution and DNA [deoxyribonucleic acid] right now, so tree planting and introducing species, and seeing how that can relate to species diversity in the plants, could at least educate them a little bit.”
Liske-Clark also said that having experienced the traumatic effects of Super Typhoon Yutu, they wanted to make sure that they give back and help the island recover.
Before the tree planting, MINA program manager Jolly Ann Cruz and MINA’s Tasi Watch ranger Daniel “Sowm” Kaipat talked about the role of trees in providing food and oxygen, as well as in controlling soil erosion and protecting coral from damage, among other benefits of trees.