In Exmore, a child with a different “tree stand” for Earth Day

April 22, 2020
Lucy Watkins

By Ted Shockley


Everyone has seen a lemonade stand, operated by a child with an entrepreneurial spirit`.

More uncommon is a roadside stand giving away free trees, operated by a child with an environmental spirit.

But that’s exactly what Lucy Watkins, a 7th grader who lives in Exmore, set up this week at the corner of Ann and Lincoln avenues with a table full of maple saplings, free for the taking.

It was Watkins’ own celebration of Earth Day, which is Wednesday, April 22. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the day, which advocates environmental consciousness in countries around the world.

Plus, with the state under a stay-at-home order because of the coronavirus pandemic, Watkins figured planting a hardy hardwood is as good an activity as any.

“You might as well have a tree to take care of,” she said.

The daughter of Amy and Ethan Watkins of Exmore, the Nandua Middle student is active in her school’s Friends of the Earth Club, which had plans this month to plant trees before the pandemic scuttled in-school classes.

So she did her own. Her brother, a ninth-grader, dug the saplings and potted them in whatever was handy, including empty coffee containers and five-gallon buckets.

Lucy Watkins put out the table and a sign, “Happy Earth Day, Free Trees” along the road.

She plans to keep it stocked all week.

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