Georgia Fourth Graders' Local Tree-Planting Club Grows Roots Around the World

You can help these budding nature lovers on their mission.

Green Leaves Tree Club Satilla Marsh Elementary School
Photo: Satilla Marsh Elementary School

A group of fourth graders from Brunswick, Georgia, are on a mission to plant more trees—in their own community and a world away.

Satilla Marsh Elementary School students Boston Riley, Griffin Goldstone, Abbott Johnson, and Tanner Lochstampfor were outside during recess recently when they noticed an empty field. It needed, they decided, more trees.

So, the four boys approached parent involvement coordinator Lauren Sapp about not only planting some trees but starting a fundraiser to help make their school more "Earth Friendly."

Sapp looped in kindergarten teacher Annmarie Roozen, and the group was born. Now, all they needed was a name.

"We were having a meeting with Ms. Sapp because we wanted to start the fundraiser, and she told us we needed to think of a name," Riley told The Brunswick News. "So, we started thinking of names. Our first name was 'tree club,' … then eventually we thought we shouldn't just do trees — we could do all the nature stuff."

Eventually they settled on the name "Green Leaves."

With help from Sapp and Roozen, the group formed a partnership with Forest Nation, an organization devoted to global reforestation. For each tree planted in Brunswick, Forest Nation plants a tree in Tanzania through their "you plant, we plant" program.

Green Leaves Tree Planting Fundraiser

On Green Leaves' Forest Nation fundraising page, tree kits can be purchased for $0.60 each. Forest Nation in turn plants the same number of trees in Tanzania's new "Satilla Marsh Forest."

"Buy one, plant one," Sapp explained to The Brunswick News. "So, every kit that is sold, they plant a tree, and every tree registered and named, they plant a tree so the possibilities are endless for us to help reforestation around the world and right here in our backyard."

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So far, Green Leaves has planted more than 800 trees. Upwards of 530 of those have been through Forest Nation.

"And we're just getting started," Sapp tells Southern Living.

Go Green Leaves, go!

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