Brian Roewe is National Catholic Reporter’s environment correspondent. Much of his reporting appears at EarthBeat, NCR's journalism initiative on faith and climate change. He has covered environmental issues for NCR since 2011. His reporting has earned multiple honors. Brian began with NCR in November 2011, and is a graduate of Saint Louis University and Rockhurst University.

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Catholics Plant Hundreds of Free Trees to Combat Extreme Heat in D.C.

Gerald Smith, principal at St. Thomas More Academy in Washington, D.C., poses with one of the 88 trees planted at the Catholic school in May 2021 through the Laudato Trees program. (Courtesy of St. Thomas More Academy)

As the school year sets at St. Thomas More Academy in southeastern Washington, D.C., students spring into action for a day of tree-tending. Eighth graders at the Catholic elementary school swap books and computers for shovels, rakes, and hoses and head outside to tend to the more than six dozen growing trees around their campus. They remove old mulch, add some new, and water each of the trees.