Earth Day 1971

KHS Students Plant 170 Trees on Campus

 Kearney Hub April 1971

"Water!  Water!  We need some water over here!"

The cry for water could be heard throughout the Kearney High

School campus Thursday afternoon as KHS students planted trees south of the high school building.

In all, an estimated 170 trees were planted by students under the supervision of Jack Erickson, a local florist.

KHS students were let out of school at 2 p.m. to take part in the tree planting ceremony and work.  A brief ceremony was performed at the "KHS" with the Rev. David Bearden reading a poem and Jim Van Norman and KHS students planting a shrub at the base the KHS.

Once the shrub was planted, the crowd applauded enthusiastically and shouted "Right on!" and "Man, this is decent!".

Student leaders then went to the truck to get their group of trees, fertilizer pellets, and protective covers which were put around the trees once they were planted.

The students dressed for the occasion.  Many of them wore overalls.  Those who did not wear overalls and wanted a pair could borrow them from the organizers, who had a surplus supply.

Several wore jeans and shirts which read "Stop pollution."  A number of pins which said "Give earth a chance" were also being worn.

Along with the students, some teachers were seen helping dig holes, firming soil around tree roots and carrying water to the plants.  College students, some KHS grads and several who were not, also helped with the planting.

The city donated a tank truck of water for the planting, but after several unsuccessful attempts to get the water through the water hoses, the rural fire truck was sent out.  Via the rural fire truck, the newly planted trees were given water.

Along with the tree planting was a cleanup project.  Those on the cleanup named a brand of cigaret that appeared to be the most popular, if number of discarded wrappers is an indication.

After the afternoon of tree planting, a dance on the high school parking lot was scheduled with music donated by the Third Establishment, Pier and Pope, Bob Roberts, Mother Rush and Sunny Funny.

Organizers of the planting, Jim Smith, Jim Van Norman and Tom Green, were aided by an estimated 300 students.  

"I really hadn't expected that much enthusiasm", Jim Smith said.

Can you find the tree you planted in 1971?