Last year, Patton teacher Ryan Ragland secured a $10,000 grant to create an American Chestnut orchard on the Patton Middle School grounds. With lots of help from outside experts - Penn State University, Longwood Gardens, Tyler Arboretum, and the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance.- we were able to get this project off the ground this school year.
With our back playing fields being transformed into two athletic turf fields, the door opened for us to set aside a 100 square foot area to be excavated, leveled, and fenced in to begin growing blight-resistant American Chestnut trees, and be a part of a national effort to resurrect the American Chestnut tree, a valued aspect of American history.
On Friday, April 30, twenty Patton students accompanied by Dr. Dissinger and staff members set out to the field and planted 90 chestnut seeds! Thanks to all the students and staff members who participated! A special thanks to James Whitsel, Tom Struble, Bob Struble, and John Wenderoth for their help with making this day happen!
Juliana Araujo, Ansh Kapoor, Jonathon Wang, Alex Hernandez Flores, Shipra Kapoor, Sean Caron, Mary Glavin, Ronan McLaughlin, Nan Stone, Brandon Wolfe, Norah Dickens, Megan Hawkins, Sabrina Smyth, Christopher Arriviello, Rayaan Enver, Cathy Li, and Corynn Morrison.
Ryan Ragland (Grant Author), John Wenderoth (American Chestnut Tree Foundation - PA Chapter), Thomas Struble, Robert Struble (Local American Chestnut Tree Experts), James Whitesel (UCFSD Director of Buildings and Grounds), Kathy Bodenstab (Teacher Representative), John Walsh (Teacher/Communications), Laurie Palic (Teacher volunteer/Student Council Advisor), Stacey Remphrey, Jennifer Spisak, Josh Thomas (Teacher volunteers), Steve Dissinger (Principal, volunteer)