11-year-old shares passion for nature by planting trees in Fairfield

A Fairfield elementary student is going above and beyond to protect the environment by planting as many trees as possible in town.
Ryan Romeo is on a mission to protect the environment. When the McKinley fifth grader was assigned a passion project, it was no-brainer for him to choose the environment as his topic.
"I said trees help the environment, so I decided to plant trees…everywhere,” says Ryan. "It will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, and also help with water pollution.”
Fairfield’s town tree warden was notified about Ryan’s goal. On Arbor Day 2021, the tree warden and the first selectwoman met with the 11-year-old at Town Hall.
Ryan talked about his vision and received a tour of the trees on the green. 
Most recently, the fifth grader was honored with a surprise cherry tree planted in his name at McKinley Elementary School and given a living memorial certificate.
“To acknowledge and honor his commitment to trees and the environment in his schools,” says the tree warden.
“We look at Ryan's cherry tree as a very symbolic idea that connects to all these things that we're all passionate about. More green spaces, kids playing, living a healthy lifestyle. Happier, social-emotional well-being," says McKinley principal Teresa Gingrave.
Gingrave hopes Ryan’s drive will inspire his classmates. "To take action, that kids his age can do this,” says the principal.
News 12 is told Ryan is looking for local nurseries to donate trees for his project.