An independent Catholic school for young women in grades 7-12

Tree-Plenish: Juniors lead service project to benefit the environment
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Tegan Greene ‘22, Communications Intern

Ursuline’s motto Serviam, meaning “I will serve,” is central to student life. Juniors Cassandra Cowell, Marissa Petrucci, and Helen Way exemplified Ursuline students' drive to live out this motto in their recent partnership with the Tree-Plenish organization. 

Cassandra Cowell brought “Tree-Plenish” to the Ursuline community this past Saturday through coordinating, with the help of two of her classmates, a service opportunity for students. Tree-Plenish is a non-profit organization that strives to replenish the environment by planting trees in accordance with the paper usage at schools, creating more sustainable schools. She reflected on the experience, saying “Tree-Plenish was an amazing opportunity for me to recognize how much our community wants to help make the world a more renewable place for us to live in and purchase trees to restore the amount of paper that is used during a school year. The main thing I loved about this experience was that we were able to involve our classmates in this service opportunity, which gave our community a chance to come together and work with each other to make the planet a better place!” 

Cassandra’s sister Melissa, an Ursuline graduate, introduced her to this service opportunity. Cowell, eager to introduce the program to the community, employed the help of her classmates Marissa Petrucci and Helen Way to collaborate on bringing Tree-Plenish to Ursuline. Together they planned the event, attended meetings, contacted administration, and hosted the tree planting event on campus. An electronic form was circulated among students where a variety of trees were sold for two dollars. Students signed up online and arrived at Ursuline on April 24th to receive their trees with a local address where they planted them. Student volunteer Emily McHugh “enjoyed being able to enact real change in the community,” and the opportunity to resume service in-person with her classmates. 

The event was a huge success, with 50 trees being planted on Saturday, and an additional 50 being donated to Needham’s Arbor Day where residents can receive trees to plant in their own backyards. Marissa felt her time leading this event was an amazing experience because of how she was able to connect with other students through service. “The Ursuline Community is such an amazing place, and I am so glad that I was able to participate in, and organize, an event that was actively working to better our community as a whole.”