Originally an elementary school built in 1888 that was closed approximately 10 years ago, Mapleton Early Childhood Center in Boulder, Colorado, was recently reopened after a thorough and creative renovation. It is now Boulder Valley School District’s first facility dedicated entirely to preschool students. Mapleton Early Childhood Center serves a diverse population of children from a wide array of neighborhood and needs.

When the preschool students at Mapleton started their unit about trees, Megan Dubofsky, one of the parent volunteers, had an idea for some hands-on learning. Dubofsky contacted LID Landscapes to see if they would donate a tree for the children to plant. After a few phone calls, Dan Quakenbush and his team at LID Landscapes arrived at the school and planted an American Linden, surrounded by an audience of wide-eyed preschoolers.


The children dug in and got their hands dirty, literally. They helped peel back the burlap on the root ball of the tree, dug the hole for the tree’s new home and added soil amended with organic matter for the grand finale. Throughout the experience they asked questions such as, “How big will this tree get?” and “What will the leaves look like?” The preschoolers learned where trees come from, how to water and take care of them, and the importance of taking care of nature and landscape.

“We really appreciated the beautiful tree donation from LID,” Dubofsky said. “The children were so excited, and they will always have the memory of participating in the planting. LID could not have been more helpful and pleasant to work with.”

Leonor Rosser, Community Liaison at Mapleton said she appreciated how LID Landscapes planted the tree, “while the children observed and asked questions. They involved the preschoolers throughout the whole process, making it totally interactive and hands on.”

“We are very grateful for this opportunity,” Rosser said. “We are delighted to see a new tree growing in the school yard, a tree that will grow along with our amazing preschoolers!”