MAILBAG

Unsung heroes were roots for event

As the chief organizer of the tree-planting effort at Emerson Elementary School ("Growing friends, tree at a time," April 22), I think it's important to recognize that our planting was very much a team effort.

We're grateful to have received the support of TreePeople, Burbank Water and Power, the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department and many local businesses. However, there's one more group that deserves mention.

Burbank Unified School District Maintenance and Operations Supervisor Mark Clarke and his amazing staff were the unsung heroes of this project.

Starting with our first campus walk-through in October 2005, Clarke and his staff members played a vital role in our planning and went out of their way to accommodate our needs. Despite staffing shortages, the maintenance and operations department took on the job of removing old, termite-infested trees and shrubs, saw-cutting and removing pavement where necessary, and pre-digging many of the 43 holes to make student participation easier. They did all our heavy lifting.

The quiet professionalism and can-do attitude of Clarke and his staff were crucial to the success of our planting. We couldn't have done it without them.

DERRICK KOLUS

Burbank

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