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Apr 202011

Rockford eighth graders help re-plant one of Illinois' State Parks.

It's their way of giving back before Earth Day this Friday.

It's a good day to dig in the dirt.

"If you need to, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty."

Andrew Weimerskirk joins 24 other RESA middle school eighth graders. They're planting native prairie flowers in parts of Castle Rock State Park.

"I like to dig in my backyard for other things, and helping my mom plant gardening stuff."

The Illinois D.N.R. has kids out in parks across the State… working during Earth Week.

"Just to get them out and about and appreciate nature a little bit, there isn't too much to plant, just a few details that they seemed to pick up on real well."

"Pale spike lebelluum, and I'm just going to plant it right here in the moist ground."

The native prairie plants will help restore what used to be farmland.

"Get a nice enough hole to fit all this in there, and to get it at ground level."

"This is something the students will remember for the rest of their lives, they can bring hopefully their grandkids back and say I helped plant this."

"The roots are here, you want to try and break them off, but not too much, which I kind of just did."

Wiemerskirk didn't know there were so many types.

"I'm used to being right a lot, I like to argue, but so that just kind of shocked me for the fact that I was wrong by a lot."

The kids planted 800 plants at different sites throughout the park so even though it looks pretty bare right now, the plan is that by next spring, it'll all be blooming.