Green volunteers work hard for Earth Day
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Fri., Apr. 22, 2011
Several volunteers, including Scouts from Pack 221 and Troop 86, celebrated Earth Day a day early by cleaning, landscaping and planting around the Vernon Teen Center and Lake Street Park on April 21.
Officials said the larch trees being planted at the teen center were purchased via a grant from the Urban Foresty Council. Other supplies were from the Vernon Teen Center and Garden Barn of Vernon, who both sponsored the event.
The grant that enabled the planting of the larches, which will grow to about 40 feet in height outside the teen center, had some specifics that will make the town more “green” in the long run.
“The project had to have something to do with reducing energy,” said Parks Supervisor Dave Bower. “Hence, we're putting the trees on the west side of the building here. When they get bigger, they'll shade the building in the summer, and hopefully reduce the amount of air conditioning we'll have to use. Then in the winter, they'll lose their needles, so that the sun can still hit the building.”
For the young volunteers, there was also an educational aspect to the day.
“The larch is the only conifer that loses its needles,” Bower told the teens, before he explained how to properly remove the burlap covering from around the roots of a tree before planting.
Flowers were also planted in front of the teen center's sign.
More trees were planted on Lake Street, where Scouts and their families raked leaves left over from the fall, spread peat moss around existing shrubs and flowers, and planted Norwegian spruce saplings, which will grow to 50 feet or more, but not as close together as they were planted.
“Once they get big enough, they'll be transplanted again,” one volunteer said.
The trees were donated by the Scout groups, who said they will continue to donate time and effort to the park.