LITITZ, Pa. (WHTM) — Three seniors at the Stone Independent School in Lancaster led an initiative to plant 5,000 trees in and around Lancaster County. They successfully placed the 5,000th tree in the ground last weekend, and now they’re ready to “make change loud” with a public music festival this Saturday.
The Big Do music festival features six local bands, and the event will also include food trucks, a beer garden, and some additional vendors. “It’s going to be a really great day of music and celebrating impact and celebrating how many trees we’ve planted, and it’s just going to be really great to see the whole community come together,” says Maxwell Davis, The Big Do festival director.
“There’s been a lot of people that were wondering if we could reach our goal,” says Spencer Browne, head of production for The Big Do, “and we knew that we could do it.” In 60 days, Browne, Davis, and their classmate Amelia Stagg led more than 250 volunteers in planting 5,000 trees at 15 different farms.
The goal of The Big Do was to improve the quality of Lancaster County’s waterways by planting trees. According to abc27 media partner LNP/LancasterOnline, at least half of the county’s streams are impaired.
“We have this massive issue, yet the solution is so simple: it’s just a tree,” says Davis. Trees can help prevent erosion along waterways, and they help prevent sediments and other pollutants from getting into the streams by filtering runoff and absorbing excess nutrients.
It may seem like a music festival and planting trees are very different endeavors, but for Davis and Browne, the festival is the perfect way to celebrate their accomplishment and share their success with the community, who supported them to the finish line.
“The 5,000th tree was a really special moment,” says Davis. The 50-or-so volunteers at the final planting gathered around to watch the last tree go in the soil.
Browne says one thing he’ll take away from this project is how important the support of the community has been and how willing community members were to help out with The Big Do. Davis agrees. “We’ve had tons of people involved in the direct planning of the festival as well as hundreds of people planting trees and coming out to the festival, and it just doesn’t work without everybody involved and everybody really committed,” says Davis.
Now that the trees have been planted, Davis and Browne are ready to celebrate. The Big Do music festival will run from 1-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 5, in the parking lot of Penn Cinema. Tickets are available at the gate or at a $5 discount on The Big Do’s website, and all are welcome to attend.