Students at Jackson Elementary School have some deep-rooted feelings about the environment, and last week they acted on those feelings, planting trees in their neighborhood to enhance both air quality and scenic ambience.

The children, who learned some political savvy while promoting a cleanup of a polluted neighborhood industrial site, applied for and got $1,800 in federal economic-development money from the city.Then they raised an additional $400 selling popcorn at school. They convinced Porter Walton, a major landscape firm, to donate two trees and to give them a good price on 16 more.

The project didn't end with planting the trees in the boulevards on Eighth West for several blocks in the area of their school. Each of the students involved in the program has adopted one of the fledgling trees. That means getting at least 15 gallons of water to the adopted tree each week to keep it healthy.

Some of the kids have even named their trees. How about, for instance, "Dog's Re-Leaf" or "Duke" for a leafy friend? (You might say these students are "barking up the right tree.")