Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tree Planting at Bellevue Public Library!

On September 17, 2014 about 20 people gathered at the Bellevue Public Library for the purpose of enhancing the library grounds through the planting of 10 trees.  Members of Green Bellevue, along with local citizens and library patrons, rolled up their sleeves, put on gloves and took up shovels for this 90 minute project.  Joining the planters was Justin Evertson, Green Infrastructure Coordinator for the Nebraska Forest Service (NFS) and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum since 2010. 

Justin oversees programs that provide funding, technical assistance and educational outreach for sustainable landscape enhancements in communities across the state.  Before joining NFS, he coordinated community programs for the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum for nearly twenty years. In 2010, NSA and NFS staff combined to form the Community Forestry and Sustainable Landscapes unit of NFS. Justin has authored many publications including “The Guide to Woody Landscape Plants for Nebraska” (1998). He earned his architecture and community and regional planning degrees from UNL (1988/92). Justin is passionate about trees, the native landscape, biodiversity and sustainable landscape development.  He lives in Waverly where he plants many trees and works to enhance landscapes throughout the community.
Green Bellevue volunteers secured a grant from the Nebraska Community Forestry Council and Nebraska Environmental Trust, as a part of the ReTree Nebraska initiative.  The project is titled ”Cool Parking” because the shade of a tree can reduce the temperature of a parking lot by as much as 15 degrees.  The challenge was to select trees that 1) would not grow so high that they would interfere with the overhead power lines, 2) would be tolerant of the heat rising from the parking lot, and 3) would add species diversity and provide wildlife habitat.  The selected trees include skyline locust, Japanese tree lilac, and two varieties of serviceberry.

Below are photos and videos taken during the planting event on the library grounds:

Asher (in green shirt and white pants) came with his grandparents to 
offer his help in planting the new trees.

State Senator Sue Crawford lent a hand during the tree planting.

Green Bellevue members Tom Mruz and Kathryn Ewing work together to secure the supports which will help keep the tree growing straight and tall.

City Councilman Don Preister provided some muscle as he worked to 
drive the support stakes into the ground.

Justin Evertson explained the steps that were followed to get the trees successfully planted on the library grounds.

Pruning branches from a tree that was planted a year or two ago.

Getting the mulch from the giant pile in the parking lot... the newly-planted trees!

Celebrating Green Bellevue's 5th anniversary and the
completion of the "Cool Parking" project with some cool treats!

For those of you who think it would be interesting and fun to plant trees, you might like to join Green Bellevue members in planting trees at Haworth Park on Tuesday, September 30.  The park lost more than 600 trees during last year's flood.  The public is welcome to come to Haworth Park anytime between 9 AM and noon to lend a hand.  If possible, bring gloves, a garden rake, and water (The water is for you. Water for the trees will be available at the park!)  This can be a wonderful, educational experience for children and entire families!  Take a look at two families who took part in last year's tree planting event! Link 1 and Link 2
If you and your children are thinking of helping with this event, please contact me, as I would love to see you out at the park.  I will also have some freebies for children who attend and lend a hand!

I hope to see some of you out at Haworth Park on Tuesday morning, September 30!

     ~ Mrs. B.

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