Students Plant 8 Native Species to Become Guam’s First Tree City USA Campus

Hagåtña, Guam – The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration announces the completion of the first phase of the Native Tree Garden Project at Untalan Middle School (UMS) during Arbor Day festivities on April 29, 2022. Led by the Guam Department of Agriculture’s (DOAG) Forestry & Soil Resources Division, the project included the planting of eight native tree and shrub species.

“This thoughtful initiative started when Mr. Benny Chargualaf, a teacher at UMS, pursued the opportunity to offer his students more localized learning rooted in Guam’s natural heritage,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “His class project became a school-wide effort, attracting students from all grades to participate in planting 45 native trees and shrubs with DOAG’s supportive staff. Their school is now home to our island’s first Tree City USA campus, joining one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs encouraging greener, healthier communities.”

“Our island will be inherited by our children, so it is imperative that we instill the importance of sustainable stewardship and respect for our natural heritage in our students now,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio. “These welcomed efforts build on the progress of our Guam Green Growth initiatives, and signal the valuable contributions of our up-and-coming generations.”

“As educators, it’s our responsibility to foster stewardship for our island,” said Chargualaf. “By planting Untalan Middle School’s first ever native tree garden, we instill a sense of pride in our school community. Most importantly, we perpetuate our culture.”

For more information on joining the Native Tree Garden Project, contact Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator PJ San Nicolas at or 671-300-7975. Follow the Guam Department of Agriculture’s Forestry and Soil Resources Division on Facebook and Instagram @DOAG.Forestry for more ways to get involved. 

The Native Tree Garden Project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s State and Private Forestry program and Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans. 


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