City Seeks Volunteers To Plant Trees

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October 23, 2018
Daily News- Record 10/23/18
HARRISONBURG — The city is looking for volunteers to help plant trees this weekend.
Staff with the Harrisonburg Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments are asking for help to plant 32 trees at Heritage Forest and Gardens on Saturday from 9 to 11 a. m.
Heritage Forest was started in 1993 and was supposed to be a dedicated forest area, but wasn’t maintained and has become overgrown, said Wes Runion, environmental specialist with the city’s Public Works Department. City staff are working to revamp the area.
“We’re actively looking to increase city canopy coverage here to pick up storm water surge and alleviate flooding, and just overall trying to keep our environment healthy,” Runion said.
Runion received a “Trees For Clean Water” grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry last Spring to plant 30 trees at Purcell Park, which was done for the Arbor Day celebration. After applying for an additional $3,600 from VDOF, Runion and 21 volunteers will plant 32 trees at Heritage Forest.
Volunteers will also be planting 20 trees at Thomas Harrison Middle School on Wednesday. The trees are funded by Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, which gave $10,000 to the city 10 years ago to plant 114 trees.
Runion said he does not know why it’s taken 10 years to get all of the trees planted, but said that after Wednesday, all 114 will have been planted.
A variety of native trees will be planted in both locations, including oak trees, maple trees, dogwood and magnolias, and redbuds.
“This is a great way for the community to come out and have a long lasting impact on the city,” Runion said. “In 40 years, they can come back and see the tree they planted and have the satisfaction of knowing it will be there for a lifetime.”

To preregister for the Saturday planting, visit Registration ends Wednesday at noon.