Volunteers plant 300 trees for Arbor Day
November 4, 2008
By Jim Feehan
Kevin Klein earned a community service badge from his Boy Scout troop and helped the environment at the same time.
About 30 people joined Klein, a third-grader at Hazelwood Elementary School, Oct. 11 during a city-sponsored tree-planting Arbor Day observance at May Creek Trail.
“This gives me a chance to give back to the community and to the earth,” said Klein, a member of Troop 497.
The volunteers planted Western red cedar, Western hemlock and Douglas fir trees along the trail’s path. In all, 300 trees were planted in six locations along the path. Small color-coded flags denoted where each tree was to be planted — green for cedar, red for hemlock and blue for fir.
The three species were selected because they are native to the area, said Aaron Milner, a certified arborist and maintenance technician with the city.
“This is the best time of the year to plant because of the rain,” he said.
The city purchased the trees from Storm Lake Growers in Monroe for $2,900.
The tree planting is part of a reforestation project at May Creek. Milner explained how to dig and insert the trees in the ground. He also urged the volunteers to be on the lookout for stinging nettles.
“They are not real comfortable,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Arbor Day Foundation named Newcastle a Tree City USA community. Newcastle and four other cities in the state earned the title for the first time this year.
The city met the foundation’s four standards to become such a community, having: a tree board or department; a tree care ordinance; a comprehensive community forestry program; and an Arbor Day observance.
The Arbor Day Foundation, in conjunction with the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, sponsors the Tree City USA program.
Pasco, Woodland, Chelan and Millwood were the other first-time Tree City recipients in the state.
As a formal holiday, Arbor Day was first observed in 1872 in Nebraska. The celebration serves to commemorate the national tree-planting holiday and foster awareness of protecting the environment.