To the editor:
Do you remember your elementary school? Was there something special that you still recall from those magical years?
For those who are attending or have attended Blakely Elementary, that memory may very well include the beautiful, historic Japanese maple which has graced the entrance of the school from its earliest years. This beautiful tree is nearly 60 years old, and has welcomed dozens of classes of students, parents, and staff each day underneath its graceful boughs.
Unfortunately, the new Blakely campus under construction cannot accommodate the tree in its current location, and there is no budget to move it. A group of community volunteers, with school district support, is endeavoring to raise the funds to have the tree safely transplanted to its new location right in front of the new school.
To meet construction timing the move must be made next month, and the estimated cost of $15,000 must be raised before midwinter break, Feb. 16, with the first installment of $7,000 due by Feb. 1.
Donations can be made directly through the Blakely PTO website, blakelypto.org, and clicking on the link provided to the “Save the Tree” campaign.
Please help us save this signature tree so that future generations of Bainbridge Islanders attending Blakely will be greeted by it each day as they enter school.
It is not just a tree. It is a piece of our history. The Friends of the Blakely Japanese Maple are grateful for your support!
OLAF RIBEIRO, CHRISTINE PERKINS, DEB RUDNICK AND CHRISTINA DOHERTY