BASKING RIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some of New Jersey’s  youngest residents are lending their little hands to help restore their town’s tree population, devastated by Superstorm Sandy.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, 20 kindergartners were all smiles at a festive holiday event in Basking Ridge.

Back to Nature Home and Garden hosted the children from The Albrook School.

Fostering a love of nature, each student was given his or her very own 2-foot spruce and added as many ornaments as the trees could hold.

The young environmentalists will bring their trees home for winter, watering and feeding them until planting season in the spring.

Back to Nature, Anthony Sblendorio’s nursery, was nearly wiped out by Sandy. Now there is an initiative to replace thousands of trees in Somerset County downed by high winds and floodwater during the storm.

“The devastation and flooding was awful,” Sblendorio said. “And so, it’s still has not really (been) brought back to life yet.”

Basking Ridge lost more than 15,000 trees in Sandy. Back to Nature will donate more than 4,000 trees to central and northern New Jersey towns.

Teacher Linda Delia said nature is part of the curriculum at her Montessori school. The hands-on experience is a life lesson.

“We’re going to use them to replant where we lost trees for Sandy at the school,” Delia said. “So they’ll each have a turn to dig the hole and watch it grow.”

The kids learned the better the care, the taller it will grow.

“As tall as the sky,” one little girl said.

“60 feet” said one boy.

“A hundred feet tall,” another boy said.

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