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OJ Semmes Elementary plants orchard celebrating Earth Day

Today is Earth Day and one local elementary school is celebrating the day by planting an orchard.

 It's just an open field right now but this is the spot where pre k students through 5th graders will plant 20 fruit trees.

"We have a fairly active gardening program here. It's been hard since the weather has been so bad," said Ann Smith, Principal of OJ Semmes Elementary

The idea to plant an orchard came to Principal Ann Smith about two years ago. That's when Smith applied for a grant with the  fruit tree planting foundation to help pay for the project. But she didn't get the money then.

"Apparently they made a mistake and said whoops. We didn't get it and then they said they had money and asked if we were still interested," Smith said.

But today the trees will be planted behind the elementary school and the selection of fruits is impressive.

"We'll have some citrus .... and maybe some blueberries."
The orchard will not only teach students here how to care for plants but the fruit on the trees bare are also expected to help nourish the children in another way.

"They'll have an opportunity to eat them here at the school or take them home to their families."