MINNEAPOLIS -- The sound of a shovel digging into dirt usually means work ahead. At Andersen United Community School in Minneapolis, it's the sound of learning and legacy.

More than a thousand elementary students swarmed Stewart Park this month to plant trees. it was part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources focus on Arbor Month.

"These kids that plant trees are going to have ownership of the trees and some of them even name their trees," said the DNR's Jennifer Teegarden.

Stewart Park abuts Andersen United. Assistant Principal Debora Brooks-Golden says planting the trees gives students the opportunity to give back to their community, and leave a legacy they can enjoy for years to come.

"The'll get a chance to see that tree grow," Brooks-Golden said. "It will enrich their communities, it will enrich their families."

The DNR maintains a school forest program, working with schools statewide to foster learning through outdoor classroom spaces. The DNR works with educators - teaching staff how to maintain a learning site, and also develop lesson plans and use the space for the best learning advantage.

The DNR worked with the City of Minneapolis as well as staff at Andersen United to expand their forest. Judging from the smiles on the faces of the students, it's a lesson they'll remember for years to come.