As David Mays walked through the snow-covered Central Woods of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University last month, gazing at the red oaks and the eastern white pines, the 17-year-old wondered if trees alone can save the planet.
“Are trees the only thing that will stop global warming?” Mays asked. “How many should we plant before we graduate? I want to support humans, nature, and save the Earth.”
Mays was one of 25 high school students from the Boston Day and Evening Academy in Roxbury learning about forest ecology, carbon’s role in ecosystems, and how trees mitigate climate change at a special program at the Arboretum. Designed as part of Boston Public School’s biology curriculum, the two-day experience let students conduct hands-on fieldwork in the landscape and engage with Harvard researchers in interactive panel discussions about climate change.