tree school usa

The beautiful weather last Friday surely helped, but even cloudy skies wouldn’t have dampened the enthusiasm of the Washington Elementary School  kindergartners through 5th graders who helped Mt. Lebanon celebrate Arbor Day and renew our town’s status as a Tree City USA.  Washington Principal Mary Kay Davis, Washington PTA President Anne Pillion,  Washington Environmental Concerns Chair Bonnie Dougherty  and  PTA Council’s Environment Concerns Chair Rob Papke worked with the municipal public information and public works departments to put together a fun program that culminated with the planting of a linden tree in the school’s front yard.

Watch a special video clip of the proceedings here:

Posters and ceramic artwork produced by students were on display for the event, including a tree-themed mosaic that every student and teacher in the school helped create.  All the students and teachers  dressed in navy and gold Mt. Lebanon School District tee-shirts, and everyone was pleased to see Superintendent Tim Steinhauer, Assistant Superintendents Deb Allen and Ron Davis,  Commission President Dave Brumfield and Municipal Manager Steve Feller in the audience.

In a tribute to the municipality’s and school district’s 100th birthdays, the Washington orchestra played “Happy Birthday” and students sang the song in Spanish.  Several other songs about the Earth followed, along with each grade presenting original works—historic information about Mt. Lebanon, essays about  good stewardship of the environment, and original nature poems. Commissioner Kelly Fraasch, whose daughter, Taylor, attends Washington, read the Tree City USA proclamation.

Children from every grade helped plant the linden tree

Cub Scouts, Brownies and Daisies raised the American and Tree City USA flags, after which School Board President Josephine Posti led  the Pledge of Allegiance. Representatives from each class then “planted” the tree, using shovels decorated with green ribbons.

The new linden tree, which will grow to be 40 feet tall,  is clearly visible at the right side of the school, facing front.  Ms. Posti, a Mt. Lebanon native, noted that many of Mt. Lebanon’s  trees are much taller than when  she was a child and encouraged the students to bring their own children back to Washington School some day to see the tree they planted.

Photos of the event are available for viewing and purchase on our photo site at

The school district will broadcast the entire event on Comcast 19 and Verizon 33.

—photos by George Mendel