Barrington student 'speaks for the trees'

Emma Marvelli's community service project brings new trees to town property

By Josh Bickford
Posted 12/12/19

Emma Marvelli channeled the Lorax when speaking to the town council at its November meeting. 

The Barrington High School freshman told members of the council about her Girl Scout Silver Award …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Barrington student 'speaks for the trees'

Emma Marvelli's community service project brings new trees to town property

Posted

Emma Marvelli channeled the Lorax when speaking to the town council at its November meeting. 

The Barrington High School freshman told members of the council about her Girl Scout Silver Award community service project which brought more than a half-dozen new trees to town.

Emma told members of the council that she received donations from Redwood Nursery, Lowe's, and Home Depot, and coordinated with the town arborist, Frank Charette, to plant the trees on the land surrounding Woods Pond. 

A few weeks following the council meeting, Emma revisited the newest additions to Woods Pond. There were two new evergreens she planted toward the northwest corner of property (closer to the intersection of County Road and Maple Avenue), and some birch trees closer to the senior center parking lot. 

Emma said she had initially chosen a different community service project to complete for her Girl Scout Silver Award, but switched to the tree project because it meant a lot more to her. Emma said she is very concerned about deforestation and the damaging impacts it has on the planet.

"It's a big problem. But people don't see the whole picture," she said. "Everyone knows deforestation is a thing, and that we're polluting the atmosphere by burning trees and cutting down trees.

"People need to watch what they're doing that contributes to the problem. You need to watch what you're buying — a lot of (products) contribute to (deforestation)."

Emma has long had an interest in science — specifically in ecology. And like many people her age, she is worried about how humans are mistreating the plant. Her message shared with the councilors so closely mirrored that of the Lorax, the well-known book by Dr. Seuss, that Emma decided to open her presentation with "I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees."

"I have read that book so many times," Emma said during the follow-up interview. "And I babysit, so I read it a ton (to the kids) too."

Emma said that she was a bit nervous sharing her presentation during the November council meeting, even though she has performed and sang in front of crowds in the past.

"I was very excited," she said. "I was even more nervous than I was excited, but I really wanted to get my message across."

Emma hopes people of all ages take the initiative to do what they can to help the environment — that might mean planting a tree or two in their yard, or researching what companies are harming the environment and avoid supporting them.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.