Santa Cruz Good Times

Dec 01st
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Rooting For Trees

blog treesLocal third grader is in the running for a $10,000 for TREES ROCK! prize

Third grader Vince Golder is, perhaps, Santa Cruz County’s youngest museum curator.

The bright and energetic 9-year-old keeps a small display of exhibits in his tree fort “museum,” where he spends his time when he isn’t reading, writing, digging for fossils or catching and studying interesting creatures, says Vince’s father, firefighter Mike Golder.

Local flora and fauna fascinate Vince, who says his favorite tree is, in fitting Santa Cruz fashion, the redwood. Inspired by the towering native tree, the Bay View Elementary student entered the TREES ROCK! video contest put on by Scotties Tissues last December, and has now made it to the top 12 finalists.

The contest asked children across the nation to create a three-minute video about the importance of trees in their community. If Vince wins the grand prize, which will be determined by an online vote, he hopes to add trees to the Bay View Elementary playground, patch the school’s soccer field, and save for his future dream—a museum of his own.

The lack of shade in Bay View’s playground also served as inspiration for the amateur biologist to enter the video contest.

"Unfunded mandates from the state leave huge gaps in the school’s budget for things that kids notice, like playground conditions,” Vince’s mother, a teacher at Bay View Elementary, explains. “This contest not only gave us a chance to do some fundraising for the school, but also to have fun as a family.”

Vince and his parents traveled around Santa Cruz County to capture footage of the area’s wide variety of trees, and worked together to edit it into a succinct three-minute video. Vince says he even skipped spending time with his friends so that he could produce the movie before the contest’s deadline. 

Scotties Tissues, the company that put on the contest, has a policy of planting three trees for every one they cut down, and seeks to promote sustainability awareness with the contest. 

“It’s our goal through the TREES ROCK! program to educate the younger generation on the importance of trees in their lives and their community,” says Scotties Marketing Director Joe Richards.

Voting for the TREES ROCK! contest has already begun, and runs until Friday, Feb. 15. To vote, visit

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