Thanks to the Free Trees for Fall Planting program, an effort of the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, the City of Norfolk received 10 trees for the Playground and Trail Head Shade project.
City staff planted eight trees around the Skyview Park playground and two trees at the flood control trail head along Omaha Avenue to give needed shade to these two areas.
Despite providing a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits, most Nebraska community forests have been in steady and sometimes dramatic decline. Many challenges contribute, including extreme weather, insects, disease and lack of diversity. The Emerald Ash Borer is the latest major challenge added to the list.
In an effort to stop this decline and increase community forest resilience, the Free Trees program grants up to 10 high quality trees for tree-related educational events and community celebrations promoting trees and fall planting.
In addition to simply planting more trees, the program goals include increasing appreciation and awareness of the value of community forests in Nebraska. Special emphasis is placed on species diversity and higher impact projects, especially street tree planting and projects in neighborhoods of highest need.
Free Trees for Fall Planting is supported by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s Trees for Nebraska Towns Initiative funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.