FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Sixth-grade students from Robert G. Cole Middle School celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day April 14 with the planting of two drought-resistant Redbud trees.

Sixth-grade reading teacher Mary Borden formed the Cole Middle School Recycle Club at the interest of students. During club meetings, students generate ideas, and discuss and agree on recycling and Earth Day activities.

"As the Environmental Management System Program Manager, Kristen Lynch has been instrumental in the celebration of Earth Day at the Cole Middle School campus," said Borden, the Recycle Club coordinator. "She also gave the students new ideas and suggestions for recycling and conservation."

"We are excited to partner with the school district and look forward to future opportunities where we focus on recycling and Earth Day initiatives," Lynch said of the event.

Fort Sam Houston Garrison Commander Col. Mary Garr spoke to the students as the trees were planted near the front entrance to the middle school building. A stone commemorates the 2010 Earth Day event and serves as a reminder for students to make decisions that benefit everyone on our planet. Garr spoke to students about making a difference in their community and shared how the idea of one man 40 years ago resulted in the creation of Earth Day.

"Each student has the ability and responsibility to protect and conserve our environment," said Dr. Gail Siller, FSHISD superintendent. "Our students have shown their local commitment to their global community and we look forward to supporting their future efforts."

Madelyn Bishop from the Cole Recycle Club also spoke about encouraging environmental awareness.

Members of the Recycle Club are: Connor Barr, Tiara Beverly, Madelyn Bishop, Tae Gallegos, Steven Lamoureux, Olivia Lougee, Kristine Lovrien, Chase Miller, Dani Riedlova, Mariah Rogers, Mercy Sherbourne and Kina Wong.

"We want to recycle items and do things for our community," Riedlova said. "Mr. Thomas P. Gayer-Brindisi from the Fort Sam Houston Qualified Recycling Program helped us with paper bins and battery containers. We really appreciate his help in cleaning up our environment."

The FHISD would also like to thank the following people who helped to make the event possible: the DPW Environmental Staff; Michael J. Grizer, DPW Director; James H. Graham, Chief, DPW Environmental Division; the DPW Roads and Grounds Crew and Cole Middle School Administration.