Local middle schoolers present public forum on Rochester’s need for trees

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Rochester middle school students at East Lower School decided to address inequity in the urban forest. As part of the Science STARS (Students Tackling Authentic & Relevant Science) afterschool club this fall, these young scientists studied urban reforestation, hoping to improve tree cover and help heal Rochester from the tree disparities that have existed for decades. The club is led by graduate students working to become science teachers at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education.

During the #GetRocTrees public forum on Saturday, East scholars and D&C reporter Justin Murphy, who wrote the initial article, “Rochester’s trees are celebrated, but not everyone gets to have their time in the shade,” presented and lead discussions with community members about Rochester’s trees, schools, and urban forest equity. Councilmember Mitchell Gruber shared more about the new CITY TREE plan and how kids and families can get involved. The youths engaged participants in hands-on experiences to explore what it means to address Rochester’s tree inequity.