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The Gordon School

Remembering, reflecting, rewilding

Looking ahead after the willow trees come down

For as long as anyone could remember, there were two willow trees atop the sledding hill.


They were damaged in last week's wind storm, and Buildings and Grounds Director Joe Almeida had to make the difficult decision to take them down.


Before the trees came down, students gathered branches by the armful.


Some wove crowns.


Some were braided into the railing on the library stairs.


Many were carefully cut and placed in water.


One of the themes for sixth grade this year is "rewilding the world" and it turns out willow trees are one of the easiest to propagate from cuttings. 


So sixth grade led the work of distributing cuttings, with major assists from all corners of the school. 


As a sixth grade teacher wrote, "If just two cuttings survive, we've done our job."


Rewilding the world of Gordon's campus is already part of Mr. Almeida's annual campus maintenance.


Mr. Almeida spoke to the sixth grade paper on Tuesday about the decision, and about his ongoing commitment to planting and caring for Gordon's community of over three hundred trees.


Gordon plants two trees for every one that needs to come down.


So Mr. Almeida already knows he'll be planting four next summer.


The four new trees may not be willows, which are relatively short-lived and soft.


But the tree canopy at Gordon will continue to grow.


Gordon students will make new memories, with new tree companions.


And Gordon's suburban forest will continue to inspire poems, letters and drawings, all deeply felt.


Mr. Almeida's interview, and poems, drawing and letters inspired by the willows, in issue seven of the sixth grade newspaper

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