Arbor Trees Grow in Washington Park

Washington Park got a new look on Thursday with the help of elementary kids planting Arbor Day trees.

The kids told News 13 planting trees is very important and park staff also d the celebration.

Park Elementary 3rd graders joined the City of Casper and Keep Casper Beautiful for Thursday’s Arbor Day celebration.

“Arbor Day is about spring and beauty, we’re planting some deciduous stuff that’s about to leaf out and will be pretty in a couple of weeks,” said Jim Gerhart, Parks and Recreation Supervisor.

The Mayor read the Arbor Day proclamation and participated in the observance of Casper being designated Tree City USA.

“It gives us an opportunity to recognize not only the outdoors, but the environment around us,” said Casper Mayor Ray Pacheco.

Keep Casper Beautiful is a program seeking to inspire and educate people to improve and beautify our community and spokeswoman Beth Andress commented, “State forestry will be presenting the city its Tree City USA designation and that is from the Arbor Day foundation in Nebraska and recognizes all the work that the city does to maintain and promote trees.”

UPS and Rocky Mountain Power sponsors Keep Casper Beautiful through grants and donations to offset the cost of equipment, crew time, materials and plant stock.

“The funds were provided to us through a grant for keep America Beautiful and from the UPS Foundation, so all these trees are to replace trees that were damaged or died in the two winter storms that we had a few years back.”

Trees planted Thursday were handpicked specifically for cold hardiness.

Trees were also picked to provide shade, spring and fall color and winter beauty. Parks and recreation staff provided supervision and memories for our grade schoolers.

“It’s a great way to connect the children with nature, get their hands dirty and the tree is something lasts for a long time so they can come back when they are adults and say, ‘hey, I planted this tree in this park and bring my kids and my grandkids out. It will live that long and just connects them with their community and connects them with nature.”

Keep Casper Beautiful is involved with city beautification projects along with parks and rec throughout the warmer months.