This past Sunday, 60 trees were planted on Central Elementary School’s campus after Christian Boudreaux, an OHS graduate and sophomore at Ole Miss, requested the opportunity in order to provide shade and charm to the area.
As a new college student, Boudreaux sought after sustainable service organizations he could be involved in, and after hearing about Hill Country Farms and their mission of planting trees to fight erosion, he knew he had found a perfect fit.
The organization, with the help of Boudreaux, started the first student-run tree farm in Mississippi and recently had its first successful year of tree growth. Boudreaux’s involvement in the tree farm is what inspired his project idea for the elementary school’s campus and led him to contact CES principal, Dr. Nikki Logan, to get started.
“During my time at Oxford High School, Dr. Logan was always exceptionally supportive of me so it was extra special that we were able to do a planting at her school. She is really the reason that we were able to get it done, as I have reached out to many others but she was quick to respond and willing to help move the project forward,” Boudreaux explained.
“On the tree farm we have about 1,800 trees and we are always looking out for planting partners.”
With an agreement among Hill Country Roots, OSD grounds, and CES, Oxford community members, Ole Miss student-volunteers, and CES students Thomas McAlilly, Quinn Thompson, Andrew Still, Esther Bloomekatz, Piper Windham, and Alice Martin Cromwell, a mix of White, Nuttall, and Willow Oaks trees were planted.
Logan and CES agreed to take ownership of the care and growth, and Jack Whelan, a fifth-grader at CES, volunteered to be the project manager for tending to the trees.