Dead tree to live on at CFES

Greg Flegal uses his portable sawmill to cut planks from the trunk of a dead mulberry tree. Fifth-grade students at Chadds Ford Elementary School, who will help turn the planks into a bench, look on.

A dead mulberry tree on the grounds of Chadds Ford Elementary School will live on as a bench in the school’s fifth-grade hallway. At least that’s the plan.

According to Principal Shawn Dutkiewicz, it’s all part of the school’s Fifth-Grade Leave Behind Project, where fifth-graders leave something at the school as part of their legacy before they start middle school.

“The tree will live on,” he said.

Chadds Ford resident Paul Koch, who is well known for making wooden bowls, will lead the project. He told the students that there’s no guarantee what the final outcome would be because plans can change when working with wood.

On Nov. 14, builder Greg Flegal, who attended CFES, brought his portable sawmill to school grounds and cut the tree into planks.

Once the planks are prepped and cut to size, two will be used for the seat and back, and a third will be cut to form two supports. Under Koch’s supervision, the students will sand the planks and coat them with polyurethane.

In addition, artist Diane Micklin will paint a picture of the school on the backrest. Photos of the three fifth-grade classes will also be put on one side of the backrest. On the other side there will be three photos of the students when they were in first-grade.

 

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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