Monday, April 27, 2009

Quarry marks Earth Day

Eight middle school-aged students from Grace Academy, a private school in Georgetown, Texas, plunged their hands and their shovels into mounds of dirt to commemorate Earth Day by planting trees and wildflower seeds at KBDJ, a limestone quarry in Hays County. “What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by getting a little dirty?” said KBDJ President Jill Shackelford. “KBDJ is thrilled that Grace Academy traveled to the quarry to learn more about the local environment and take an active role in improving it.”

During the field trip, the students also got an up-close look at a working rock quarry and saw the steps KBDJ has taken to protect the environment and wildlife on the quarry site. “I thought it was just going to be a rock quarry,” said eighth grader Kristen Klein. “It’s much more than that.” Added Ashton Murphy, who is in ninth grade, “We’re currently studying the age of the Earth in school, so the quarry pit allowed us to see the different layers and colors of the Edwards limestone formations.”

Hays County Commissioner Karen Ford, also a member of the Clean Air Force of Central Texas, visited the event to encourage the students and to give them information on regional efforts to ensure Central Texans breathe clean air. “We’re working very hard to get the word out about what people can do to keep the air clean,” Ford told the students. “Trees help clean the air, so thank you for being here.”

With help from quarry staff and a backhoe donated by Texana Machinery, the students planted three live oak trees, which they named “Grace,” “Faith” and “Love,” at the quarry entrance along FM 967. The trees came from the tree farm at Texas Disposal Systems, and KBDJ worked with the Hill Country Conservancy to pick the appropriate type of tree to plant. Students also planted a mix of wildflowers at the quarry site, which included Black-eyed Susan, Mexican Hat, Prairie Coneflower, Indian Blanket, Lemon Mint, Bluebonnet, Plains Coreopsis and Clasping Coneflower. -- Mark S. Kuhar

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