Heal the Earth - Plant a Tree

Published 12/12/2017

Last July, Rotary International’s incoming president Ian H.S. Riseley challenged all 1.2 million members around the world to plant a tree before Earth Day 2018 on April 22.

The Toledo Rotary Club has taken that challenge seriously, and committed to providing funding for the Conservancy to plant 500 new trees at Forrest Woods Nature Preserve.

Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from the air, slowing global warming. In a wetlands environment, they decrease runoff and increase groundwater flows by increasing infiltration and below-ground storage, reduce sediment loads and reduce thermal shocks to streams through their cooling effects on surfaces and air.

The trees will be planted this coming spring at Forrest Woods Nature Preserve on a tract of land along the Maumee River that experiences frequent flooding. This land, which was purchased by the Conservancy in 2016, is farmland that will be converted back to functioning floodplain and streamside forest. “It’s a start to the complete restoration of that field,” explained Melanie Coulter, the Conservancy’s Stewardship Specialist. “It’s a floodplain area, and the tree planting will help to stabilize the soil.”

Trees will be matched to the old growth woods found at the preserve, to mimic natural selection. Trees will include oak, hickory, cottonwood, sycamore, paw paws and more. They’ll be in keeping with the 22,000 trees planted last spring in that area, which included more than 30 native species.

The tree planting will be held in late spring, sometime between mid-April and mid-May, and volunteers are welcome to help with the planting. In addition, we’ll be offering naturalist-led walks through the recently restored areas of Forrest Woods, as well as a walk through deep swamp woods.Because spring plantings are dependent upon the weather and when winter breaks, we’ll have details in the coming months. 



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