Thanks to the cooperative efforts of many like-minded organizations, Haworth Park will have 150 new trees planted. Volunteers from Green Bellevue and the city’s Tree Board will be joined by Mutual of Omaha employees and assisted by the Park’s staff in planting trees. The acquisition of the trees was made possible by grants from Mutual of Omaha, Omaha Tree and a grant from the Greener Towns Initiative, a program of the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Funds are also being used for special equipment to facilitate better delivery of water to these trees.
Activities will be held from 12:30 to 4pm on September 25th and 26th, which coincides with ReTree Nebraska Week and Mutual of Omaha’s annual National Month of Caring effort. Mutual of Omaha is committed to giving back to the communities in which it does business. Throughout the month of September, employees across the country will be rolling up their sleeves to make a difference in their communities. This initiative dovetails with Green Bellevue’s goal to add at least 100 trees to our city parks each year. Omaha Tree will be donating the mulch needed to retain moisture and reduce weeds after planting. This company also donated 175 barrels to be used for watering trees. The City of Bellevue would like to thank Mutual of Omaha and all of the employees that volunteered their time to help with this project!!
Many people don't know that fall is a great time to plant trees in Nebraska. Fall's cooler temperatures and reduced humidity make it less stressful for newly planted trees to establish themselves before winter arrives.
Following the 2011 flood, more than 600 trees were removed from this park. This planting is the first effort to begin the replacement process. Graham Herbst, Community Forestry Specialist wit the Nebraska Forest Service, has been actively engaged in selecting the types of trees that will be planted. Selections are being made for drought and water tolerance as well as species diversity. Herbst explained, “Planning a forest in a park within the floodplain is a real creative challenge. Selecting only trees that are adapted to periodic flooding isn’t enough and would be detrimental to species diversity, which is another critical aspect of community forests. Trees growing in these conditions need to be tolerant of long, dry periods most of the time, as well. The 2013 planting will contain groupings of tree species that are found in association with each other in their native context. For example, where we find a group of surviving sycamores in the park, there will be additional sycamore planted along with pecan, elm, catalpa, swamp white oaks and other trees that are found in that forest community type. This will provide a diverse, resilient park canopy for recreation that also has wildlife and educational benefits to offer the City of Bellevue and park visitors.”
A short program will precede the work, including a demonstration by David Anson, Tree Board member, who will explain the proper method for planting a tree. Many trees do not survive simply because they are not correctly planted.
Last fall, Mutual of Omaha employees planted trees in Bellevue, and Green Bellevue welcomes their support again in 2013. The volunteers of Green Bellevue provide environmental education and empower members of our community to undertake programs that beautify our community, promote healthy lifestyles, and preserve our natural resources. In the past four years, Green Bellevue has organized the planting of 500 park trees and donated for Bellevue a combination of grants received and volunteer time worth a half-million dollars.