Tree Planting Event @ Duck Creek Recreation Area

Tree Planting Event @ Duck Creek Recreation Area

Thanks to the Free Trees for Fall ReTree Planting program, an effort of the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the Nemaha Natural Resources District received 10 trees for the Duck Creek Recreation Area. On Wednesday, November 7, the fourth-grade class from Lourdes Central Catholic School in Nebraska City helped Nemaha NRD staff plant some of the trees.

Mark McDonald, Field Representative for the NRD, led the event by providing the students with information about trees, their importance, and their care. In turn the students helped NRD staff Tomas Chale Ake, Ken Hatten, and Steve Bartels plant, mulch, and water two oak and one linden tree around the playground in the RV camping area. At the conclusion of the planting, each student officially adopted one of the trees giving it their own nickname and recording the date and other physical characteristics of their tree.

Despite providing a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits, most Nebraska community forests have been in steady and sometimes dramatic decline. Many challenges contribute, including extreme weather, insects, disease and lack of diversity. The Emerald Ash borer is the latest major challenge added to the list. In an effort to stop this decline and increase community forest resilience, the Free Trees program grants up to 10 high quality trees for tree-related educational events and community celebrations promoting trees and fall planting.

In addition to simply planting more trees, the program goals include increasing appreciation and awareness of the value of community forests in Nebraska. Special emphasis is placed on species diversity and higher impact projects, especially street tree planting and projects in neighborhoods of highest need.

Free Trees for Fall ReTree Planting is supported by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s Trees for Nebraska Towns Initiative funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and by the Nebraska Forest Service’s Landscape Scale Restoration grant funded by the US Forest Service.