Last week was the culmination of several months worth of effort by Great Bend fourth and fifth graders, effort that wrapped up Friday with the celebration of Arbor Day. Thanks to a cooperative arrangement between the Great Bend Tree Board and the Kansas Forestry Department, the fourth-grade students were each given a red bud sapling and the fifth-grade students participated in a poster contest.
“In 10 years, where will you be?” board member Lisa Whipple asked the forth graders at Eisenhower Friday afternoon. Most will be out of high school and entering adulthood, and that was Whipple’s point.
“That tree you climbed in? Someone planted that years ago,” Whipple said. “Now it’s your turn.”
The small tree doesn’t look like much now and won’t for a while. It may years for it to be all that impressive.
But, that’s what trees are all about, Whipple said. It’s about the future.
Planting trees is a good thing, for the community and the environment. They are both beautiful and practical, and can make Great Bend a more attractive place to live.
But, the lesson learned by these kids goes beyond trees.
Unfortunately, our culture is evolving into on that craves immediate, instant gratification. The Internet and smart phones, both of which are common for these youngsters, have only sped this process.
Now, they are told, good things come to those who wait. They may not even see the benefits of their actions today, but future generations will.
What a concept.
By preaching the value of trees, the Tree Board is preaching the value of patience. That, like a towering red bud, is worth the time.