Sunday, January 23, 2022

Putting Down Earth Day Roots at the Y

Afterschool Program Kids Do the Planting

Photos by Quentin Roux
| The group poses for a keepsake shot.


Earth Day came and went this past April 22, but over at the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Y) it will be remembered as a special day for years to come.

That’s because about 40 youngsters in the Y’s afterschool program helped plant two robust young fruit trees in the vegetable garden behind the Youth Development Center.

Youngsters from the Y’s afterschool program take turns filling in and smoothing out soil.

Affordable Landscaping donated the trees which, Youth Development Director Stephanie Pepper told the excited kids, will bear oranges and lemons for years to come.

On hand for the more strenuous digging were Affordable Landscaping owner Al Benarroch and supervisor Alex Hernandez, who then directed filling and smoothing operations by the kids themselves.

Before the planting, Pepper reminded the group that the orange is Florida’s State Tree.

“So, we’re making history right here at the Y,” she said. “Those trees are going to be here for years to come, and we get to eat the fruit.”

Benarroch said the planting of trees symbolized Earth Day perfectly and added that besides citrus he personally recommends native and drought resistant trees that include magnolia, live oak, mahogany, gumbo limbo and, of course, palms.

Pepper, in thanking Benarroch and Hernandez for their efforts, said the day was even more special because the two men’s own children had been through the Y afterschool program.

For more on the Y’s wide variety of programs and activities for adults and children, visit or call 394-YMCA (9622). Follow on Twitter at ymcamarco, on Facebook @marcoymca, and Instagram at ymcamarco.



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