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Saplings apparently stolen from school; replacements planted

April 24, 2019
In a Monday, April 22, 2019 photo, Morgan Jackson, 10, left, Josh Ryckman,11, center, and Mitchell Cooper, 10, help plant fruit tree saplings at the Battle Creek Montessori Academy in Springfield, Mich. The trees that were initially going to be planted were stolen, but parents and businesses donated money and replacement trees so the students could plant them to celebrate Earth Day. (Kalea Hall/Battle Creek Enquirer via AP)
In a Monday, April 22, 2019 photo, Morgan Jackson, 10, left, Josh Ryckman,11, center, and Mitchell Cooper, 10, help plant fruit tree saplings at the Battle Creek Montessori Academy in Springfield, Mich. The trees that were initially going to be planted were stolen, but parents and businesses donated money and replacement trees so the students could plant them to celebrate Earth Day. (Kalea Hall/Battle Creek Enquirer via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Mich. (AP) — Officials say 10 fruit tree saplings that were to be planted by students at a school in southern Michigan to celebrate Earth Day were apparently stolen before they could be put in the ground.

The Battle Creek Enquirer reports the trees that cost about $200 had been placed outside Battle Creek Montessori Academy in Springfield on Friday in preparation for Monday’s scheduled planting. When Jessica Eldridge, the head of the school, and others went out to get them they were gone.

As word of the apparent theft spread, parents and businesses donated money and replacement trees. Those trees were planted Monday.

Eldridge says that they anticipate the school “will have a really good orchard in a few years.” Students will learn to care for the trees and eventually harvest fruit.

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Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com

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