About 25 seventh-graders from Milwaukee Academy of Science and a half dozen students from City on a Hill Youth Center recently had the opportunity to learn about arborists — and to climb a tree.
The Wisconsin Arborist Association offers pro bono services to up to three non-municipal organizations per year. This year, City on a Hill was selected for a project in which about 20 volunteer arborists removed trees, ground up stumps, pruned trees and treated roots, in addition to working with the students.
The students learned how to ascend a tree, what gear arborists use and how to identify some trees. Students were encouraged to ask questions and consider whether they would want to become an arborist.
WAA arborists provided about $12,000 worth of pro bono work to City on a Hill and $4,000 to Milwaukee Academy of Sciences.
City on a Hill Executive Director Diane De La Santos said the factors that keep trees from growing are similar to how some children are kept from reaching their full potential. She said that often a tree is able to grow only when an arborist takes the time to understand and address its problems. “Then it can be as tall and wide as it’s supposed to be,” said De La Santos.
Similarly, to help students, mentors need to understand the trauma they have experienced.