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Fifth-grader's letter blossoms as Riley’s 1,000 Trees

When Riley Smythanne Browne was a fifth-grader at Mildred Helms Elementary School this past school year, she learned about Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maathia’s efforts to save Kenya’s rainforest. The story prompted Riley, 11, to take action. As part of a class project she wrote a letter to Largo Mayor Patricia Gerard with the idea of planting 1,000 trees in the tree friendly city. On Friday at 9 a.m., Riley, along with Parks Superintendent Greg Brown, Mildred Helms principal Sandra Cowley and Riley’s fifth-grade teacher Susan Russell, planted the first 10 of 1,000 trees at the school as part of “Riley’s 1,000 Trees” event. Browne hopes the yearlong planting of trees will remind residents that by taking care of the earth, people are taking care of themselves. All 1,000 trees will be donated by the City of Largo Parks Department. [Jim Damaske |]

Source: Tampa Bay Times

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