With 88 days to go to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Oaklands College is getting ready to welcome the world by planting one of just 40 Coubertin Oaks.
Oaklands Coubertin Oak was planted on 30 April at the St. Albans Smallford Campus, attended by the Mayor, Principal and Deputy Principal of the College, Tree Wardens of Hertfordshire and students. The tree will be part of a new woodland area, which is set to replace the College’s old arboretum.
The planting is part of an initiative which will see a ribbon of Oaks planted to link Much Wenlock with the Olympic Park. The trees have been grown from acorns taken from a tree planted in Linden Field in Much Wenlock, in 1890 in honour of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement. The tree was planted to celebrate Coubertin’s visit to the location of Dr William Penny Brookes annual Wenlock Olympian Games.
The planting at Oaklands College is one of 40 Coubertin Oaks that are being planted to create the ‘ribbon’ which starts at Much Wenlock and finishes in the Olympic Park. A select group of schools and colleges have been invited to participate in the project that are part of the Get Set network, the official London 2012 education programme, and situated along the route of the ribbon. The ‘ribbon’ will pass through various points from Much Wenlock to the Olympic Park and this route now includes Oaklands College.
Zoe Hancock, Principal of the College, commented: “We are extremely honoured and proud that the College will be a part of Great British sporting history. The Oak will be a constant reminder of London 2012 and our proud role as part of the Get Set Network.”
Mayor of St. Albans, Cllr Aislinn Lee, commented: “The planting of the Coubertin Oak at Oaklands sets a milestone in the history of the College and I'm delighted to have been a part of it.”