Here is how the project went:
Everything went really well. Tyson loved planting his trees, and he is taking good care of them. He is hard at work, creating his illustrations, and he and his Grandmother were grateful to be able to purchase some special art materials for their book project with the mini-grant. We received help and advice from so many people along the way, which made this project very fun and collaborative. Everyone was very encouraging, and that was a big plus, because we found out how there was so much to learn about caring for cherry trees that we didn’t know!
Through this project I/we learned:
Through this project, we certainly learned a lot more about cherry trees! Andi's cousin Todd, who is also an Angel Island descendant, absorbed a lot of knowledge about planting vegetables and fruit trees, passed on from his grandparents who tended their home gardens. Todd shared some very important advice with us about cherry trees— we would certainly need to purchase a second tree if we wanted fruit in the future, because most sweet cherry trees do not self-pollinate without the help of honeybees. Jan suggested that we go to Green Acres in Elk Grove to look for some nice trees. Since we knew that Tyson would like to enjoy cherries, we purchased two trees - one cherry tree is a Bing; the other is a Lapin. Tracy, who works at Green Acres, offered Tyson some great tips on how to plant and care for his new cherry trees. We hope that Tracy's advice can help others who might like to plant a cherry tree.
What I/we might change:
Tyson worked really hard to plant his trees, and he soon learned that the digging a hole for planting the tree was only a small part of the work! Early on, he learned about the importance of daily watering. If we had to think about doing this again, we would think about a nearby water source to help make watering a little easier.
My/our favorite part of this project was:
Paw Paw’s (Grandma’s) favorite part of this project was seeing how excited Tyson was to receive his tree on his birthday. He was so happy when his friends all pitched in to help him carry the tree into the backyard. Tyson couldn’t wait to try out his brand new set of ParKoo art markers to add some eye-popping color in his drawing — some nice red cherries for his story!
Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:
In the coming weeks, Tyson will be picking out a few of his illustrations to share in a special art exhibit that will be created for National Angel Island Day at the de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. In 2010, former president Barack Obama proclaimed January 21 as National Angel Island Day, calling upon the people of the United States to “learn more about the history of Angel Island and to observe this anniversary with appropriate ceremonies and activities.” The museum is presenting special free Saturday program of poetry, music and art, “Echoes from Angel Island,” dedicated to the ancestors and descendants of Angel Island immigrants, will invite the public to learn more about Angel Island history through the works of art, including Tyson’s illustrations from the story book that he is creating with his grandmother, poet Genny Lim, which is now titled “The Bird from Heaven.” We look forward to celebrating the day with a poem about Tyson’s cherry tree!