Pupils plant grass seedlings to revive schoolyard lawn in Koori town

Pupils at Danzaki Elementary School in the town of Koori joined work to turn its schoolyard into a grass lawn on June 27 by planting seedlings under the Danzaki Green Project. The schoolyard was turned into a lawn under the Fukushima Prefecture’s Utsukushima Green Project in June 2010. However, as a result of the nuclear disaster the following year at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, radioactive levels at the schoolyard rose and the grass was removed after mowing, cleansing and other efforts to decontaminate it failed. In response to requests from local residents and pupils’ parents that the schoolyard be greened again, the Danzaki Green Project office began its operations. The seedlings were provided by the Japan Football Association. About 350 pupils, parents and guardians, local residents, teachers and others took part in planting the seedlings. At an opening ceremony, Koori Mayor Nobuhiro Takahashi explained measures being undertaken to reduce radioactive contamination and called on all those present to unite their efforts in realizing the lawn. The participants then formed one line and planted the seedlings in the schoolyard of about 5,000 square meters, braving rainy weather and working hard to revive the green schoolyard.