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Students plant tulips in park

TERI VANCE

As second-graders placed tulip and crocus bulbs in the ground Wednesday, teachers hoped they were planting the seeds of future civic leaders.

“They’re part of a community,” said Fremont Elementary School teacher Mary Berge. “They can choose to make the community a good place or a bad place. Hopefully, they’ll choose good.”

The project began when Berge and James Wheeler read “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney with their students. The book’s message is that everyone can make a difference in the world.

The main character, Miss Rumphius, decides to make a difference by spreading flowers.

“The boys and girls thought, ‘Hey, we need to do that, too,'” Berge said.

Across town, second-graders in Teresa Mondragon’s class at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School were reading the same book.

The two classes became pen pals and decided to meet and plant flowers at Governor’s Field.

“We’ve never met them,” said Martin Rubio, 7, as his class waited for Mondragon’s students to arrive Wednesday morning. “I’m excited to plant the flowers with our pen pals. We can share with them.”

Each student was given two bulbs to plant in a hole dug by Tom Kunkle, a gardener with the Carson City Parks Department.

“I just put them down and bury them,” explained Andy Cooper, 8. “It’s good for the Earth.”

The students planted about 200 bulbs. Some wished there had been more.

“I wish we were planting 2 million,” said 7-year-old Hunter Hewitt. “No, 2 infinity. Two infinity never stops.”

Ashley Sumner, 8, enjoyed planting the bulbs and is eager for spring to arrive, bringing the project into full bloom.

“They’ll look beautiful and I love beautiful things,” she said.