Tree Planting event Saturday kicks off ReTree Week

To kick off ReTree Nebraska Week, the North Platte Natural Resources District is hosting a tree planting demonstration and tour. The event will be held at Northfield Park and Arboretum on Saturday September 21st, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ReTree Week is an effort to encourage the planting of trees in our communities, with the goal of planting 1 million trees by 2017. For more information about the ReTree program, go to http://retreenebraska.unl.edu/.

Trees provide many different benefits to our communities. In addition to filtering pollutants out of the air, they help prevent surface water and ground water pollution by decreasing the intensity of rainfall hitting the ground, so more rain can soak into the ground instead of running down our streets and storm drains. Allowing rainwater to filter down into the ground, municipalities can reduce the wear and tear on sidewalks and streets.

Trees provide benefits to homeowners as well. They shade homes and garages, which can reduce cooling needs. Shade from trees can help reduce evaporation from lawns, which can save water. Trees provide welcome shade for children to play and afternoon barbeques. Trees also produce fruit to eat and provide homes for a variety of wildlife.

The tree planting demonstration will begin at 9:20 a.m. Following the demonstration, participants will have the opportunity to plant trees in the park, where tree professionals will be on-hand to assist and answer questions. Following the tree planting, a guided tour through the park will inform the attendees about the types of trees recommended for our climate, a brief history of the trees in the park, and the benefits of planting trees.

The other sponsors of the event are the Gering Tree Board and Nebraska Forest Service, all with will have information available at the demonstration. Local nurseries will also be on-hand to provide assistance with the tree planting and to answer questions. The trees are being provided through the ReTree Nebraska Initiative, which is funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

For the residents of Gering, the city offers a tree rebate program that will cover 50% of the cost of a tree, up to $100.00. For more information, call the city offices at (308) 436-5096.

For more information about the tree planting demonstration and tour, please contact David Wolf, Information and Education Coordinator at the North Platte NRD at 632-2749 or email him at dwolf@npnrd.org. You can also visit the NRD website at www.npnrd.org.

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