Story by: Rebekah Street, Anna Maria Gardiner, Robin Hendricks

Dutch Fork’s signature trees beside the bell tower are cut down to reveal stumps and patches of mud.

This temporary landscaping project occurred for safety reasons; the tops of the trees were blocking the view of the security cameras that help ensure the safety of the school and its students.

“I think it’s reasonable that they cut down the trees for safety reasons,” freshman Tamaya Brooks said, “because it’s important to keep an eye on the school so if something bad happens they can go back and check the scene.”

Although it may seem pointless, the cameras serve a useful purpose to the school.

“ I think it was necessary to cut down the trees if it was a hindrance to security,” math teacher David Kennedy said. “As for why, just ask Mrs. Medlock-Greene. We had equipment stolen last year so hopefully we will be able to prevent that.”

Some students are not quite as certain as to whether the school’s decision to begin this project was a good one.

“I don’t think it was necessary to cut down the trees for safety reasons because it just cost more money because the school had to hire people,” senior Branden Nguyen said, “and they could have just moved the cameras.”

Junior Zachary Abbot agrees.

“I don’t think it was worth cutting down the trees because the cameras are movable,” Zachary said. “And who is going to break into the front of the school anyways?”

Security was not the only issue to be considered when deciding to move the trees, however. There was also worry about the possibility that the trees’ roots could have impacted the building’s foundation as well, since the trees were so tall.

“I think that the school wanted to plant new trees because the trees that were in the front might have been getting really old,” freshman Aleah Solomon said.

The earth where the trees once stood will not remain bare though. Flowers and shrubs will be planted in the now empty spots, and new sod will be added.

“I think new flowers in front of the school will make Dutch Fork prettier and they will add color to the school,” Tamaya said.

Not everyone is as accepting of this aesthetic change to the school’s facade.

“I think the flowers will look wonderful but at the same time, I don’t really think it was worth cutting down the trees. The new plants will be something good to look at in the mornings,” Branden said.

Still, some others have ideas other than new plants for visual appeal.

“I think we should put more signs at the front of the building so that the school stays really decorative,” sophomore Michelle Alvarez said.

However, with the cameras now able to observe the front of the school and the foundation saved from the destruction of tree roots, Dutch Fork has made another successful renovation.

         “I am the leader of the earth club,” Mr. Kennedy said, “and we are hoping to plant more trees around the school, but we definitely don’t want them blocking anything important that guarantees safety.”