Saplings apparently stolen from Michigan school; replacements planted

Associated Press
Morgan Jackson, 10, left, Josh Ryckman,11, center, and Mitchell Cooper, 10, help plant fruit tree saplings at the Battle Creek Montessori Academy in Springfield, Mich.

Springfield – Officials say 10 fruit tree saplings that were to be planted by students at a school in southern Michigan to celebrate Earth Day were apparently stolen before they could be put in the ground.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the trees that cost about $200 had been placed outside Battle Creek Montessori Academy in Springfield on Friday in preparation for Monday’s scheduled planting. When Jessica Eldridge, the head of the school, and others went out to get them they were gone.

As word of the apparent theft spread, parents and businesses donated money and replacement trees. Those trees were planted Monday.

Eldridge says that they anticipate the school “will have a really good orchard in a few years.” Students will learn to care for the trees and eventually harvest fruit.