Kansas City, Mo. – Trees with benefits and ties to history were planted on April 5 in two public parks in the Kansas City metro area.
More than 100 trees including bur oaks, redbuds, and pawpaws were planted at Platte Ridge Park north of Platte City, which is owned by the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department. Volunteers turned out to help plant and mulch saplings and seedlings including Missouri Master Naturalists, high school students, Scout groups and 4-H members.
Platte County Commissioner Beverlee Roper read a proclamation making the pawpaw the official county tree. The trees produce edible fruits in autumn, a bounty utilized in past and present. During the Civil War, Confederate sympathizers were accused of “hiding out in the pawpaws,” which grow in brushy woodlands.
Saplings and mulch were purchased under a county grant. Project partners also included University of Missouri Extension and Platte Land Trust. Seedlings of all three tree types were also provided for free by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and given to the public for home landscape plantings. MDC foresters and private land specialists helped map planting locations at the park. They offered tips on best planting methods for those picking up trees for home plantings.
At another tree planting event on April 5, MDC foresters and private land specialists assisted Project Blue River Rescue. KC Wildlands volunteers planted 350 tree seedlings near the Blue River in Kansas City's historic Swope Park. This effort was part of a grant awarded to the Heartland Conservation Alliance. Three Scouts also earned tree planting conservation merit badges for their volunteer work.
Trees benefit wildlife and people in rural or urban areas. They provide food, shade, shelter, wood products, clean air and scenic beauty. For more information about how Trees Work, go to http://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/trees-work. For general information about trees go to http://www.mdc.mo.gov.