Students and faculty from West Scranton High School planted two (2) trees in front of the school. Several students spoke about the importance of trees, read poetry about trees, and the choir performed for the event. Members in attendance were also welcome to tour the school’s environmentally acclaimed courtyard that has been converted into a green space with trees, shrubs, a fountain and benches. Recently, the space was recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The courtyard is approximately 14,500 square feet, and is being developed into an arboretum with support from the school administration as well as public and private organizations.
The courtyard renovation was begun by the late Diane Davis Marinchak, a dedicated naturalist and environmental science teacher at West. Studies have shown that trees and green spaces are beneficial to students who suffer from ADHD and mood disorders. Environmental programs also have demonstrated positive effects such as reduced truancy and higher graduation rates.