Turning over a new leaf

By Audrey Webster | Reporter

Imagine a 3D pirate ship statue with a flag of Marshfield’s emblem waving in the wind, or perhaps a sculpture of MHS athlete and local icon Steve Prefontaine located on campus.  These are just two of the many ideas students and staff have proposed for the replacement of the tree that was cut down last fall.

A group of students have come together with a mission to replace the landmark with another item that would be equally appreciated. Though there is no definite plan yet, students continue to work on finding the perfect replacement.

“We want to show something can be cut down, but it can also be put back,” Principal Greg Mulkey said.

When discussions about replacing the tree came up, landscape designer Mike Vaughan suggested the administration consider something other than a tree.

“We need to find something stable for the turn around,” Vaughan said. “The tree was getting really beat up by the wind.”

Instead, Vaughan believes the ideal spot for the tree would be on the south side of campus near the auditorium. In that location, the tree would be less affected by the powerful winds coming off the bay.

He suggests each graduating class plant a tree in a place of their choosing on campus. Both the class of 2012 and 2013 have expressed interest in this idea.

Mulkey is appreciative of the interest and effort to replace the tree with another one, either in its original location or elsewhere, in addition to the possibility of some other monument in the center of campus.

“I think it wasn’t truly appreciated until it was cut down,” Mulkey said. “It was one of those things you don’t appreciate until it’s gone.”

The tree, a Sunset Maple, centrally located and highly visible on campus was cut down in an act of vandalism last October. It was donated by the class of 2002 and was planted during the construction of Pirate Hall Mulkey said. Students, staff and community members have been anxious to replace the tree in some way. According to Mulkey, some students like the pirate ship idea; however, he wants more input before a decision is made.

One option is to have a school-wide vote, where every student would have some voice on the decision. Another option is to choose two or three representatives from each class to speak on behalf of their class. Some students feel this is an effective approach.

“I think it’s good to have a debate,” sophomore Michelle Adamson said. “It’s good to have a few students represent their class instead of the whole school voting.”