- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A small northwestern Wyoming community saved two trees that were planted in memory of a local student and the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.

The trees were planted several years ago in front of Wapiti (WAH’-puh-tee) Elementary School west of Cody, but they had to be moved or cut down to make way for a highway-widening project

The Cody Enterprise reported Thursday (https://tinyurl.com/mwruhsm) residents of the unincorporated Wapiti community paid about $2,000 to have the trees moved to the school playground. They are seeking donations to help cover the cost.

Park County School District 6, which is based in Cody and administers the school, said it had no money to move the trees.

“To Wapiti, the trees are for students,” said Gina Sowerwine, a community resident. “So they’re not just trees.”

“The students took on that tree project, and former students involved remember that,” said Sowerine, a para-educator and secretary at the school, which had just 17 students at the start of the 2013-14 year.

One tree was planted in memory of Gillian Fales, a former Wapiti student who died in a car accident in 2000 at age 19. The other was in memory of the 12 students and a teacher killed by two teenagers at Columbine.

A parent-teacher group originally raised the money to plant the Fales tree. Students raised the money to plant the Columbine tree.

The trees, which had grown to 15 or 20 feet tall, were moved Wednesday by a Montana company that specializes in such work.


Information about donations for the trees is available from Gina Sowerwine at [email protected]

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