Pekin students color schoolyard a little greener

Pekin Community School students gather at assembly and celebrate all the trees they planted.

Local elementary school students are learning the importance of planting trees and saving energy.

294 kids at Pekin Community Schools got out of class for an assembly today where the school's Superintendent Frederick Whipple and representatives from Alliant Energy and Trees Forever congratulated the students for all their hard work planting nearly 130 trees. A $10,000 grant from Alliant energy covered the costs of the trees provided by Trees Forever.

â??They're gonna be able to grow up with these trees, gonna watch them as they grow through high school,â?? Trees Forever Field Coordinator Emily Swihart said. â??Hopefully theyâ??ll come back to the site maybe with their own kids, and they'll be able to say I planted those trees and now it's 20 feet tall, 30 feet tall. Just their enthusiasm and excitement, it's infectious.â??

After the assembly, 30 students planted the remaining 20 trees completing the project. The trees will provide a wind screen shielding buildings and helping the school save money on their electric bill.