Hundreds of volunteers take part in Summerfest Planting Day

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Some color is being added to the Summerfest grounds, before all the rocking begins!  Hundreds of volunteers took part in Summerfest Planting Day Thursday.

Although the weather wasn't very cooperative, they say it's a sign that festival season is almost here.

Feeling more like late Fall in their coats and hats, 2nd graders from Blessed Sacrament School got their hands dirty planting flowers along the grounds of Henry Maier Festival Park.

It was just one of more than 60 schools and organizations around the Milwaukee area that took part in the event.  More than a thousand volunteers total helped plant more than 48,000 in 63 different varieties.

“We have some Dusty Millers, Firecrackers plants, some Cannas and ornamental grasses,” said Blessed Savior School teacher Debbie Pokrzywinski.

“From the mid gate to the south end, we’re really making sure that everything's in and ready to go.  The grounds are beautiful so that when patrons come down for festival season, they see some beautiful stuff,” said Summerfest Marketing Director Jess Meiller.

Planting day has been an annual tradition for several schools, using the activity as a teaching moment.

“We've been doing this for 22 years,” said Pokrzywinski.

“We’ve been coming down for about 12 to 13 years now.  We've learned about the parts of plants and talked about the roots holding to the soil, so today, they get to see the root ball as they take it out of the packages and put it in the dirt,” said Litza Janowski, a 2nd grade teacher from Blessed Sacrament.

For the little ones, it's their way of giving back, by using some color to welcome a festival season that's just a few weeks away.

“I feel like it's really fun and it's great for the community,” said 2nd grader Mariana Minter.

The first festival of the season starts June 7th with Pridefest.

Summerfest runs June 26th through the 30th, then July 2nd through the 7th.