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5:13 PM Wed, Sept. 19th

Trees bring fruit to Coyote Springs’ students

Grant provides for 45 trees planted on campus

Autumn Jeffers, Ryleigh Hunsley, Addie Lohman and Trinity Harris plant one of the 40 fruit trees. The Fruit Trees Plantation Foundation donated apricot, plum, peach, apple and pear trees to Coyote Springs Elementary School in Prescott Valley Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Tribune)

Autumn Jeffers, Ryleigh Hunsley, Addie Lohman and Trinity Harris plant one of the 40 fruit trees. The Fruit Trees Plantation Foundation donated apricot, plum, peach, apple and pear trees to Coyote Springs Elementary School in Prescott Valley Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Tribune)

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s grant to Coyote Springs Elementary School is the start to an orchard with 45 various fruit and nut trees.

Planted Tuesday, April 24, the orchard will span 4,000 square feet and consist of apple, apricot, peach, pear, almond, and plum trees.

“This orchard is a wonderful addition to the environmental education that Coyote Springs provides to each of the 640 students on campus,” said Jessica Kissinger, the school’s Wildlife Habitat education teacher.

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Lizzy Rainey lets students sample some pear as The Fruit Trees Plantation Foundation donated 40 apricot, plum, peach, apple and pear trees to Coyote Springs Elementary School in Prescott Valley Tuesday, April 24, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Tribune)

Each student at Coyote Springs participates in a “Habitat Class” as one of their specials in which kindergarten through sixth-grade students learn about environmental matters. The Habitat garden provides a place for learning about ecological principles and sustainability in a tangible way. Students grow their own food, truly getting to experience the value of farm-to-table.

The mission of Coyote Springs is to provide a 21st Century education using the Five C’s Super Skills for the 2st Century: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Community Connections.

This orchard, combined with the 1,140-square-foot school garden and schoolyard wildlife habitat already on campus, creates an outdoor lab alive with learning opportunities for all ages across the curriculum. It will expand the school’s farm-to-table experience and environmental education program.