The cherry trees by the pond have long been treasured by the Heathwood community for their beauty and for the many memories that have been made beneath and beside them. Now, thanks to 5th grader Helen Tinch, their status as Treasured Trees is official.
Helen’s essay about what the trees have meant to her and her fellow Heathwood students led to them being named 2016 Treasured Trees by the City of Columbia. It’s the third year in a row that trees on the Heathwood campus have been so honored.
Sponsored by the City of Columbia’s Forestry & Beautification Department, the Treasured Trees Program seeks to document and preserve trees that have significant value to the greater community, and promote the awareness, benefit, and value of trees to the community. Those seeking to have a tree recognized are asked to submit a description of the tree and an explanation of its significance.
The cherry trees, said Helen in the essay she submitted to the 2016 Treasured Trees contest, deserve recognition for many reasons: because they are distinctively beautiful, because they are part of the fabric of every student’s Heathwood experience, and because they provide a peaceful spot for quiet reflection.
Here is Helen’s essay about the cherry trees:
Midlands Area Treasured Trees
By Helen Tinch
Heathwood Hall Episcopal School
I chose the beautiful Japanese Cherry Trees that line the pond at Heathwood Hall for my trees. The trees bloom in Spring, and I always look forward to that time because of how pretty they are then. I love them so much because they look like trees covered in light pink snow. The reflection in the water is amazing. My favorite part of when the flowers bloom is when they start falling off onto the ground and the whole ground turns light pink because it is so full of flower petals. Every day on the way to school I look out of the window and see the trees and they make me so happy.
When I was in the Lower School and ECLC (Early Childhood Learning Center), I went to many events under the group of trees. One of the events was Dad’s Day where we all went to the trees with our dads and played all kinds of games, went fishing in the pond, and went kayaking through the reflection of the beautiful pink flowered trees. I also had my kindergarten graduation under the trees. I also enjoyed a program called PEAK where we go to the pond and do fun things like fishing and you get to look at the trees the whole time.
Now that I am older, I sometimes go after school out to the pond and sit on the benches under the trees just so that I can go see them. I think that it is a very peaceful and quiet place to think.
To me, the Japanese Cherry Trees should be treasured trees because I know that everyone would like them as much as I do if they saw them. The Japanese Cherry Trees are my favorite in the entire city. The trees are also home to animals such as squirrels and birds. One of the best parts about the trees is that they bloom early in the Spring so I do not have to wait for a very long time to see them. That is why I would consider the Japanese Cherry Trees my treasured trees, and I hope you will too.