Mountain View Voice

News - October 28, 2011

Hubbub over fate of Bubb's 'peace tree'

by Nick Veronin

A group of students at Bubb Elementary are gathering signatures from their classmates, parents and teachers in order to petition the administration not to remove a piece of school history.

In order to make way for a new shade structure in the school's outdoor lunch area, the school may need to remove the "peace tree." The tree, which was planted by students in 1994, is the only reminder of a larger green-thumbed project, the "peace garden," according to Mary Dietrich, principal of Bubb.

The tree may need to be removed in order to make way for a canopy, which parents have asked the school to build to provide shade for the children while they eat lunch at the outdoor tables. "It gets hot at the tables," Dietrich said, explaining that parents became concerned about sun safety. The canopy will also work to shield the children from bird droppings.

David Franklin, a teacher at Bubb, addressed the Mountain View Whisman School District's board of trustees at their public meeting earlier this month, requesting that the board do something to ensure the tree is not removed.

The district's superintendent, Craig Goldman, said it was up to the school to decide what it would do with the tree.

According to Dietrich, even while she is set on installing the shade structure, the tree may end up staying. The school is looking at all its options and has even enlisted some of the students in the process — asking them to help come up with solutions that would allow the tree to remain, while at the same time accommodating the shade structure.

"I think the best thing about this whole issue is that the kids are getting involved and figuring out how to solve a problem," she said. "It's just a great lesson for them."

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