Chestnut Tree Project
Update: Second Planting
want to thank 6th-grade science teacher Mr. Ryan Ragland for coordinating the second round of American Chestnut Tree plantings. Mr. Ragland and a group of middle and high school students planted approximately 40 American Chestnut Tree nuts in our Patton Middle School American Chestnut Tree Orchard behind the UCFSD Bus Garage on Doe Run Road adjacent to the Unionville High School Varsity Softball Field.Approximately 75% of the American Chestnut trees planted in 2021 have survived and continue to thrive. The additional plantings on May 10, 2023 replaced the trees planted in 2021 that did not survive. I want to thank former Unionville High School Math Teacher, Mr. Thomas Struble, and former Director of the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, and E. Kneale Docksteader Foundation Board Member, Mr. Robert Struble, for also assisting with the planting and helping to maintain the Patton Middle School American Chestnut Tree Orchard. I also want to thank our Facilities Director, Mr. James Whitesel, for his ongoing support of the orchard and for providing topsoil for the most recent planting. We aim to continue expanding the Patton Middle School American Chestnut Tree Orchard with the hope of restoring this historic tree to the dominance it once held in our east coast woodland areas.
In 2020, Patton teacher Ryan Ragland secured a $10,000 grant to create an American Chestnut orchard on the Patton Middle School grounds. With lots of help from outside experts we were able to get this project off the ground this school year.
With our back playing fields being transformed into two athletic turf fields, the door opened for us to set aside a 100 square foot area to be excavated, leveled, and fenced in to begin growing blight-resistant American Chestnut trees, and be a part of a national effort to resurrect the American Chestnut tree, a valued aspect of American history.
On April 30, 2021 twenty Patton students accompanied by Dr. Dissinger and staff members set out to the field and planted 90 chestnut seeds! Thanks to all the students and staff members who participated! A special thanks to James Whitsel, Tom Struble, Bob Struble and John Wenderoth for their help with making this day happen!
Juliana Araujo, Ansh Kapoor, Jonathon Wang, Alex Hernandez Flores, Shipra Kapoor, Sean Caron, Mary Glavin, Ronan McLaughlin, Nan Stone, Brandon Wolfe, Norah Dickens, Megan Hawkins, Sabrina Smyth, Christopher Arriviello, Rayaan Enver, Cathy Li and Corynn Morrison.
Ryan Ragland (Grant Author), John Wenderoth (American Chestnut Tree Foundation - PA Chapter), Thomas Struble, Robert Struble (Local American Chestnut Tree Experts), James Whitesel (UCFSD Director of Buildings and Grounds), Kathy Bodenstab (Teacher Representative), John Walsh (Teacher/Communications), Laurie Palic (Teacher volunteer/Student Council Advisor), Stacey Remphrey, Jennifer Spisak, Josh Thomas (Teacher volunteers), Steve Dissinger (Principal, volunteer)