Students from Shepherdstown Middle School joined other volunteers Tuesday morning at Morgan'a Grove Park to help plant 24 new trees as part of a WV Project CommuniTree. The CommuniTree project, a partnership with the Shepherdstown Community Club, is a joint effort between the West Virginia Division of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service and the Cacapon Institute. Funding for the project comes from the U.S. Forest Service.
Tree plantings such as the one at Morgan's Grove, are part of a grant application through the varying organizations that allow schools, municipalities and other organizations to request trees to plant. Different types of trees are available at different times of the year and for different purposes depending on their planting location.
The trees at Morgan's Grove Park are flowering trees and were planted along the far border of the park adjacent to the Morgan's Grove Market property.
Tanner Haid, urban forestry coordinator for the Cacapon Institute, WV Project CommuniTree, shared that Tuesday's project was one of 10 happening this fall. There were other plantings throughout the year, he said.
Jennifer Myers, director of Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, was on hand for Tuesday's planting. The Parks and Recreation department works to maintain Morgan's Grove Park in a cooperative effort with the Community Club who own the park. Myers said that the parks system has taken advantage of several of the Communi-Tree projects and has added trees to Sam Michael's Park as well as Leetown Park.
Haid explained some of the benefits of tree plantings which included reducing stormwater runoff in the Shepherdstown planting. He said that a goal is also to increase urban tree canopy in the Eastern Panhandle and to provide protection to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, of which Jefferson County is a part.
The students from Shepherdstown Middle School were shown the correct way to dig the hole for the tree, how to level the hole so the tree grows straight and how to actually plant the tree. The students worked in groups to make quick work of the planting process. Herb Peddicord, landowner assistance forester with the WV Division of Forestry, gave demonstrations to the students and then assisted them in their volunteer efforts.
Peddicord said, "You all are doing a good job helping out here. Come back in a few years to see how these trees are doing."