The Mighty Oak of MRH Gets Permanent Tribute
When baseball fans gather at Busch Stadium, they meet up at the Musial Statue. On the Delmar Loop, they gather outside Blueberry Hill. At MRH, the rendezvous point is Oscar the Oak Tree.
Holding forth for nearly eight decades in the middle of the parking lot on the north edge of the High School/Middle School building, Oscar has served as a stately point of reference at the highest elevation on the main campus. The story behind the moniker is fuzzy, but the tree's origins are not. It and another tree were planted by the twin uncles of a current elementary school employee on Arbor Day. Oscar's companion tree died early. And experts says Oscar himself is on his last limbs, with perhaps a decade of life remaining.
Oscar has even managed to wedge his way into the curriculum. Middle schoolers use ropes and harnesses to climb the tree as part of their coursework.
In a project which was launched last school year, a local metals company is teaming with MRH 7th and 8th graders to create a lasting tribute to the red oak. Members of the Vault Club, a student group dedicated to preserving the rich history of the school district, are partnering with Peters-Eichler to design and create a steel tree structure which would be affixed to the east wall of the middle school commons.
At their first meeting with Peters-Eichler representative Jeff Hoevelmann, the students in teacher Amy Kruger's club offered up suggestions for the metal medium (aluminum was the preferred choice), the design of the stylized leaves, and how such a heavy piece of work would be safely suspended on the wall.
Throughout the fall and winter, the students will consult with the design firm on the fine details, and hope to see the structure installed during spring break in 2018.
In the meantime, the cross country team will continue to meet beneath Oscar before they head off on their practice runs, and drivers will continue to jockey for that "just right" parking spot beneath Oscar's cavernous canopy of shade on a hot day.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.