Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

An Unexpected Change

An Unexpected Change

It had been a few weeks since the children in Opal 1 had the opportunity to hike up to the Upper Meadow and visit their trees. Before we left the classroom, we wondered together about the changes we might see once we got up there. Earlier in the week we had been talking about the changes we had been noticing in our own yards, gardens, and neighborhoods. The children predicted that their trees might be getting new leaves or maybe even flowers and were excited to see. As we rounded the corner up the hill, the children began sprinting to their trees. They had so much fun reconnecting and noticing all the new signs of spring.




We did come across a change that worried us all. One of the trees had spray paint down the trunk of it. The children wondered why the paint was there and who had put it there. The initial concern was that the tree was tagged to be cut down.  Many worried faces huddled around the tree as they wondered what they could do.

Q: It’s like somebody coming and spraying you in the face with paint.

R: Yeah, it’s not good for the tree. The paint probably has chemicals in it or something.

V: Why would someone even do that?

T: Will it get cut down?



The next day, we found out that Opal 2 has a connection with a woman who works for Portland Parks and Recreation and that she knew a lot about the arboretum. Amy told us she had her contact information and if we wanted, we could write her a letter. Maybe she could give us some more information on why it was there and what we could do to help. On Friday the children worked together to craft the letter.


Dear Rachel,

We have a problem. There is graffiti on two trees in the Upper Meadow of Hoyt Arboretum. Do you know who is writing the graffiti or why they are doing it? We have been becoming friends with these trees and we are very worried! We are worried that the paint has chemicals that could hurt the tree, or it could get sick, stop growing, get cut down, or die. How can we help make sure the trees survive? Can you please help us?

Sincerely, Opal 1


We are hoping to hear a response back by next week and we will keep you updated on the outcome!

One response to “An Unexpected Change

  1. Friends in Early K have also discovered this sad sign. We would like to help, too. Please let us know what we can do!

Comments are closed.