Around 1,500 Jasper and Putnam County elementary students in Georgia got their hands dirty planting trees while meeting Olympic athletes at the Kids4Trees program sponsored by the Forest Service. The event was the first of 35 planned across the nation for 2012.
Bryan Jacobs, an inspiring two-time Olympic weightlifter, was among three Olympians who visited with students. After learning what it takes to help both trees and young spirits thrive, the students planted trees at their schools and potted their own small trees to take home.
Kids4Trees is a national partnership between the Forest Service, World Olympians Association and United States Olympians Association that links students ages 6-12 with Forest Service professionals, volunteers and Olympic athletes to encourage them to become good stewards of their forests.
“The Olympians Association has a commitment to protecting the environment, and of course the Olympics has always been about inspiring youth,” said Jacobs. “This event gives these future leaders an opportunity to learn more about the role that forests play in global sustainability, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”