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Trees get new life at Delray grade school

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Posted at 8:08 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 21:20:11-04

About a dozen palm trees are getting a new lease on life in Delray Beach.

Instead of turning the trees into mulch, a developer transplanted them to a school.

Pine Grove Elementary had portable classrooms sitting empty on campus. The school district removed the units to make room for the trees. The new “urban forest” was unveiled today.

“It’s important for a school to have trees and things that grow. Everything should grow at a school, don’t you think?” said Principal Joe Peccia.

The idea to transplant the trees came as the developer of the Aloft Hotel presented his plans to one of the city’s advisory committees. Jim Chard sits on the Site Plan Review Advisory Board. He suggested the developer save the trees from the construction site and move them to a school.

“Students can see what the city is doing for them, they can see the difference between a weed-strewn lot and a nice, shaded oasis,” he said.

Developer Alan Mindel not only relocated the palm trees, but purchased ten oak trees to add to the school’s campus. He says it’s important to invest in the community.

“I think the most important message we can tell any kid is for them to know we care about them. That they’re really, really important to us,” Mindel said.

The school’s principal says teachers will use the trees in science lessons.