Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

These Georgia 4th graders are planting trees on their campus — and around the world

Where most people saw an empty field at Satilla Marsh Elementary School in Brunswick, Georgia, four students instead envisioned a beautiful, tree-filled space — so they got to work and are making their forest come to life.

The fourth graders — Boston Riley, Griffin Goldstone, Abbott Johnson, and Tanner Lochstampfor — launched Green Leaves, a club that is not only planting trees on campus, but also promoting global reforestation. They have partnered with Forest Nation, and are planning a fundraiser later this year to sell trees for local residents to buy and then plant at home. For every tree sold, another will be planted in Tanzania.

"We were thinking how many trees get chopped down in this community," Riley told The Brunswick News. "So we were thinking it couldn't just be a school thing. We could just make it the whole community."

Using materials from Forest Nation, the students are learning about the importance of reforestation, and how it leads to cleaner air and creates jobs. They also intend on donating 25 percent of the proceeds from their fundraiser to the Glynn Environment Coalition, a gift that its executive director, Rachael Thompson, is excited to receive. "Youth are our future, and the fact that these young men have come out and decided to actually take an action to do something to better our environment and support or organization, that's kind of just a plus," she told The Brunswick News. Catherine Garcia