26 Tree Stewards Assist With Planting 76 Trees in Gillies Creek Park

Brown grass crunched underfoot and the dust flew as about 75 CSX volunteers planted 76 balled-and-burlapped or container trees around Gillies Creek Park in Fulton Bottom on Saturday, Sept. 25.  Twenty-six Tree Stewards and current tree steward students assisted, demonstrating proper techniques, offering advice, and sometimes helping to plant, as well as directing parking.

Holes for all the trees had been dug with an augur, but many were not deep enough. The ground was so hard that the pickaxes CSX provided got plenty of use. The soil was so rocky that topsoil was trucked in to help fill around the root balls.
After the mulching, Tree Steward Wyn Price said Parks Department trucks pumped about 1,000 gallons of water Saturday.  Then Mother Nature took over the watering for a couple of weeks.   CSX, Richmond arborist Norm Brown, and officials from the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities had clearly done their homework. CSX provided all the needed tools along with gloves and goggles for the volunteers.
The project celebrated National Public Lands Day, a volunteer effort to improve public lands across the country, and also was part of CSX’s “Trees for Tracks” initiative, which aims to plant 21,000 trees, one for each mile of its railroad tracks, over the next five years.   Volunteers also came from City Year, Alliance for Community Trees, and Virginia Union University. They undertook landscaping and building benches in addition to planting trees.
CSX’s Web preview said the varieties planted include Dawn Redwood, Yoshino Cherry, Willow Oak, River Birch and others suited to this location.
CSX’s Web site says it is “a National Leadership Sponsor of City Year, an organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service, giving them the skills and opportunities to change the world, make a difference in the lives of children and transform schools and neighborhoods throughout the United States.”
To thank Richmond Tree Stewards for their assistance, The Alliance for Community Trees has given us a one year membership which will allow us to access webcasts and stay up to date on news regarding urban forests.
If you couldn’t be at the park, you can check out this slideshow:
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