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Park School Helps BLM Plant Trees at Pete’s Draw:
|Cindy Allen explains how to plant trees.|
|Park students head out to plant trees along the river.|
|Cindy Allen helps a student with planting a tree.|
|Students work in teams along the river.|
|Students cool off in the North Platte River.|
Project will help prevent erosion along the North Platte River
By Lesley A. Collins, Public Affairs Specialist, High Plains District & Cindy Allen, Forester, Casper Field Office
On a sunny day in May, Park School first, second, fifth, and sixth graders caravanned up to Pete’s Draw ready to dig and plant trees. This was the students’ final field trip for the school year and they were energized and ready to go.
Park School teamed up with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Casper Field Office on May 21, 2009 to plant trees at Pete’s Draw Recreation Area along the North Platte River. Pete’s Draw is a newly developed area that is part of the Trapper’s Route Special Recreation Management Area. Trapper’s Route includes a number of public landing and access points along the North Platte River between Casper and Alcova, Wyo.
This is the third year BLM has worked with Park School. “This year we are forming water bars with rocks and planting dogwood, buffalo berry, cottonwood and chokecherry trees. The trees will hold the water and prevent erosion of the soil. They also provide shade and cover for wildlife,” stated BLM Forester Cindy Allen.
There were four parts to planting the trees, and every student got to try out each task. First, they formed a water bar with rocks to prevent the soil from washing away. Second, they dug holes for the trees with dibble bars and hoedads. Dibble bars and hoedads are hand tools used to dig up the dirt and create the hole for the trees. Third, students carefully placed the trees in the holes and replaced the dirt. Fourth, kids used buckets to water the trees from the river.
Allen started out by showing the students how to gather rocks and form a water bar to prevent the soil from washing away. Next she showed them how to dig holes with a dibble bar and hoedads. Dibble bars and hoedads were very popular and the kids enjoyed using them. BLM employees were on hand to help with this.
After the hole is dug it’s time to plant the tree. “Trees have a root ball and breathe just like humans do,” said Allen as she showed students how to carefully carry the trees and place them in the holes.
The final task involved giving the tree water from the river. Students had a lot of fun using a bucket to get water for their trees. A lot of wading, splashing, and water fights were involved.
Students also learned about wildlife and the geography of the area. BLM Wildlife Biologist Jim Wright had a wildlife trunk full of different hides and animal skulls. Geologist Tom Foerstch was also on hand to describe the geology and topography of the surrounding area.
It was a great day and over 150 trees and shrubs were planted. “This gives kids to opportunity to participate in giving back to their environment – their home,” said Allen.