Spring Sun Graces Arbor Day Tree Planting


5th Graders in Park


You could almost set your calendar to recognize Arbor Day on the High Plains by the forecast; take one sunny day and add wind. Despite a slight chill in the spring air and some gusts approaching 50mph, little deterred about 105 5th grade students who opted out of class to join the Lamar Tree Board in an annual tree planting event.

Jack VanHook and Helpers

The location may change from year to year…the city ballparks, North Gateway Park, Spreading Antlers Golf Course and, of course, Willow Creek Park. Jane Felter, Lamar Tree Board President, informed the Lamar City Council last week, the sites this year would be the ballfields and Willow Creek Park.  There were 63 trees available for planting, 30 of which would be done by the 5th grade students.  Felter said there were a variety of trees planted including:  Accolade Elm, Aristocrat Pear, Northern Catalpa, Pink Heartbreaker Redbud, Golden Raindrops Crapapple and Chinkapin Oak

After planting a round of trees at the ballfields, the students converged on the west side of Willow Creek Park, assisted by members of the City of Lamar work crews and Sorosis Club volunteers. They got many of the holes dug while the students followed their path to plant the trees using a prescribed regimen for secure rooting outlined by the Tree Board.  There were a lot more students than trees with the ration about 12 to 1, but a lot of students managed to get a little dirt on their hands while others just let off steam, using their energy to enjoy the sunny spring day.

New and Old Tree

Perhaps few would reflect that their efforts would take over a generation to develop from a sapling into a mature tree, while members of the Tree Board took satisfaction knowing that their efforts would continue to benefit Lamar citizens in years to come.

Tree Planned for Removal

Felter added, “We had $10,000 in grant funding this year for the planting and used $7,500 towards these trees and the balance will be used to bring down the dead tree that’s adjacent to the caretakers cottage on the east side of the park.” One recent wind storm took down a tree just a few feet from the one that will be professionally removed.  “We’re going to seek more funding through grants this year for additional projects.  We don’t know at this point how much we’ll receive, if any, but we’ll see how well we do,” she said.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEducationEventsFeaturedRecreationSchoolYouth


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