Core Virtues

Planting Oaks of Optimism #GivingTuesday

Written by Emily Tan (Class of 2026) and the DVGS Editorial Team
Photos by Erica Lai (Class of 2024) and Amy Liu (Class of 2023)

On November 29, also known as Giving Tuesday, DVGS collaborated with the Mendocino Land Trust and Blue Zones Project to plant oak trees at Riverside Park, hoping to give back to the community and enhance our natural environment.

The sun shone brightly as the girls stepped into the park and made their way into a vast field. Staff and volunteers from the Mendo Land Trust welcomed them, demonstrating how to gently plant the oak treelings.

After the tutorial, the students formed small groups and, carrying their potted treeling, dispersed to locations across the field where a little flag indicated the oak’s new home. Most spots had holes that had been dug by other volunteers, and in these places, the girls would carefully ease the oak sprout out of its plastic container and plant it inside the hole.

Making sure the roots had enough space, the students then refilled the hole and placed a cardboard ring around the seedling to protect it from weeds that might compete for nutrients. Finally, a thick layer of wood chips and chicken wire were added to secure the oak tree.

With the collective effort of the staff, volunteers, students, and teachers, all the oak treelings were successfully planted and it was time for lunch. Everyone enjoyed a hearty meal prepared by Taste Buds and returned to school with buoyant spirits.

Special thanks to the Mendocino Land Trust, Blue Zones Project, and Taste Buds for supporting us! Thank you to Jin Jr Shr, Ms. Wang, Ms. Kravitz, Ms. Diana, Dr. Yu, and Mr. Shi for driving us to Riverside Park and planting the oak trees with us!