Coquille High School

Coquille High School juniors plant trees on county forestland as part of a class project in cooperation with the Coos County Forestry Department.

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COOS COUNTY — As part of their annual service project, Coquille High School juniors joined forces with the Coos County Forestry Department last week to help its staff plant more than 1,000 Douglas fir trees.

With sleeves rolled up and shovels in hand, the students split into teams to plant on about 5 acres of the county’s forestlands near Beaver Hill Road.

Juniors from Coquille High School plant trees in the Coos County Forest.

“It was really nice,” said Coquille junior class representative Gia Saigh. “We learned all types of stuff about forestry and how big these areas that they have to plant are and how important it is to the watershed and the surrounding environment.”

According to Saigh, the idea to provide assistance to the Coos County Forestry Department stemmed from students expressing their interest in wanting to know more about the timber industry and forestry.

“We thought it would be a good learning experience and also a good opportunity for us to go outside and bond as a class,” said Saigh. “It was really cool seeing our entire class come together and work. We had 51 out of 57 juniors attend. It was an amazing experience.”

In an effort to build leadership skills and promote class unity, each class at Coquille High School has been tasked with proposing and completing a service project of their choosing.

Coquille High School juniors plant trees on county forestland as part of a class project in cooperation with the Coos County Forestry Department.

Jeff Philley, principal at Coquille High School, said this school year is the first time in many years each class has an adviser, which has proven instrumental in helping students navigate their service projects.

Philley also added service projects like the tree planting completed last week by the junior class are great ways to bring students closer together as they work to accomplish a common goal.   

“I was exciting to see the (students) out in the mud with smiles on their faces in nature doing something good for the county,” said Philley. “One of the neat things is the planting is so close to the road that I think as the decades go on they’ll be able to see their trees grow and maybe even be around to see them get harvested.”

Coquille High School juniors plant trees on county forestland as part of a class project in cooperation with the Coos County Forestry Department.

According to Coos County Forester Lance Morgan, to the best of his knowledge, the last time the county collaborated with students from Coquille High School to plant trees was sometime in the early to mid-1960s.

The students planted approximately 1,500 trees.

Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.

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