Two volunteers plant a tree at the May 19 planting event along Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Trail in DeWitt. (photo by Lauren Young)
Despite the rain last Saturday morning, a handful of volunteers came out to plant more than 60 trees at the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Trail in DeWitt.
Members of the DeWitt Tree Committee, Onondaga Earth Corps and the DeWitt Rotarians joined forces on May 19 to plant trees along the trail, located off Kinne Road.
“Planting trees of different varieties is the best defense we have against the invasion of insects. So, each spring and fall we come together to plant 50 or more trees alongside our trails and parks,” said Town of DeWitt Certified Arborist and Town Naturalist Christine Manchester, who heads the event. “We were able to plant more than 60 trees this Saturday, despite the pouring rain, it was a great event. Our goal is to come together not only to plant trees and preserve our forests, but to build community together.”
Executive Director Greg Michel of Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) first gave a demonstration to volunteers on tree planting, from mixing the soil with the compost to correct placement.
“We have quite a bit of experience so we’re happy to help,” said Michaels referring to his Earth Corps coworkers as they helped fill the tree during the demonstration.
Since its inception in 2004, the OEC has empowered youth to create positive changes in their communities and the environment that sustains them, through job training, community service and environmental stewardship. Since 2017, over 1,217 trees have been planted by the organization with 10,502 hours of volunteering provided by its members, according to the OEC website.
Town tree committee Chair Ann Stevens called the Onondaga Earth Corps “an awesome corporation,” that “provides kids with training and planting knowledge.”
While this was the latest “green” event held in DeWitt, it certainly wasn’t the first of this spring season, and won’t be the last.
At DeWitt’s Earth Day Clean-Up on April 21, volunteers and staff collected 12.69 tons of materials — up from 5.4 tons in 2017 and 3.72 tons in 2016, according to a Town of DeWitt press release.
In addition to roadside waste, televisions, refrigerators, microwaves, computer equipment, tires and other household appliances were collected.
“Our annual Earth Day Spring event is not only a very successful clean-up event, it’s also a great way to bring together residents from all across DeWitt; it’s an important part of genuinely building community in DeWitt,” said Chair of the DeWitt DACC Dennis Payne in the press release. “We collected more than 12 tons of litter that was then picked up by the Town of DeWitt Highway Department staff, and promptly delivered to OCRRA’s Ley Creek facility, so the event was a very big success.”
More information about this clean-up will be released late summer.
For more information about biking, hiking, walking, running, kayaking or canoeing on the Erie Canal, visit townofdewitt.com/CentralDewittTrailMap.aspx for the Central DeWitt Trails map. The map outlines the existing and proposed trails for the Central DeWitt area, connecting residential neighborhoods to the DeWitt Erie Canal Corridor. The map also includes safety tips, park and trail policies and rules of the road for bikers.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
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