Kindergarten students at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica, with the help of the group Tree People, planted five trees at the main play yard Friday, January 8th.

The play yard at Roosevelt Elementary, 801 Montana Ave., had been without any trees, causing the asphalt surface to feel like “an oven” on hot days, teachers explained.

A group of parents started working with Tree People last spring to develop a plan to plant 11 trees on the yard for shade, but due to the school district’s budget challenges, the number of trees to be planted was reduced to five, teachers said.

School representatives removed over 300 square feet of impermeable asphalt and students helped plant the five small trees that will ultimately grow to create much needed shade. Roosevelt’s kindergarten classes named the trees, and with the help of parents, they will continue to water the trees.

Students in teacher Ann Carey’s kindergarten class named their camphor tree “Lucia.”