Monday, March 31, 2008

We're planting April 19th!

All systems are go!

All the required permissions and agreements are in place.

The seedlings have been ordered and paid for. On April 19th we will plant on two sites as a demonstration project:
  • 2275 hackberry
  • 500 chokecherry
  • 1000 cottonwood
  • 1975 basswood
  • 3125 maple
  • 500 oak
  • 500 dogwood
About 300 people have signed up to “green” our community.

Important: On planting day check your e-mail to be sure that the planting will take place. If weather conditions are bad we will move the date to Sunday the 20th.

The smaller site adjacent to Good Counsel Hill is quite convenient. We can park on the School Sisters of Notre Dame parking lot, walk to the hillside, and start planting. Folks who may not be as limber, as well as groups of children, should choose this site.

The other site is more challenging, but also the more visible and larger; therefore, more important to the future of the project. In this area, we need to park in the parking lot of the North Mankato Fire Department on Howard Drive in North Mankato. A shuttle bus provided by the city of North Mankato will deliver planters to the site.

We are waiting to see which method of reaching the hillside will work, going in from the top at Sandi Court or from the bottom near the on-ramp if MnDOT gives permission. Either way you will need to park at the fire station and take the bus in to the planting site. Traversing this site is more challenging, so if your group consists primarily of able adults, please choose this slope.

At both sites, there will be someone to direct you. At both sites, please try to car pool to keep parking problems at a minimum.

At no time can any of us cross the staked area into space between the pavement and the roped line along the highway. Neither can we stop on the edge of the highway to drop off any workers.

Please sign up for roughly 2-hour periods starting at 8:00 am. We need to adjust the times for traffic management. We hope to have the planting completed by early afternoon.

Detail information about the planting itself:
  • There are no bathroom facilities of any kind.
  • Try to join together so as to arrive in as few vehicles as possible as parking will be a problem.
  • Each planter needs a spade that will penetrate the soil to about 6 inches and plastic gallon milk bottle(s) filled with water.
  • Master Gardeners will be on hand to instruct & demonstrate the planting procedure. After the seedling is planted, a color coded piece of yarn needs to be tied around it LOOSELY.
  • Smaller children accompanying grownups may not have the strength to plant may apply mulch to the trees after they are planted.
  • We need volunteers, either the group or individuals, to sign up to help with Canada thistle eradication in the summer time. The highway department requires this of us until the trees shade gets large enough to crowd them out.
Please answer the following questions and send the information with your choices to Malda Farnham as soon as possible for planning purposes.
  1. Team leader contact name:
  2. Approximate number of planters in your group:
  3. Site for your group: (Either Good Counsel Site or North Mankato Hwy. 14 Site)
  4. Approximate time that you would like to plant on Saturday: (Between 8:00 and Noon)
  5. Will you be able to help with thistle control this summer? (Late July to walk the hill and cut off mature thistle before they go to seed)
Any questions? Have we missed anything?

Watch e-mail for further updates as the 19th approaches.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Planting scheduled for April 19th

Saturday, April 19th is the day the Community Gardens are scheduled to plant trees from 10:00 am until noon for the Mankato Million Tree Project.

This is the beginning of an historic movement in Mankato and you can play a part. We are going to return portions of the area to native forest. (Mankato was once part of the Big Woods, not prairie which started just west of here.)

If you would like to participate please contact Malda Farnham at 507-345-7339. You can send her an email by clicking here.

Please share this information with others.

The Community Gardens are located at 170 Good Counsel Drive in Mankato.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Think trees and think spring!

Mar. 1, 2008

Thank you again for your interest in the Million Tree Project. As of the end of February we have placed our order for 10,000 trees to be planted this spring in a demonstration project. The trees include Chokecherry, Cottonwood, Hackberry, Basswood, Maple, and Oak. We are leaning toward the third weekend in April 19-20 as a planting date. More information on that will follow as the weather settles. We remind you to be rounding up spades and plastic milk jugs for water prior to the planting date. We are still in negotiations with MnDOT for the planting sites and when they are confirmed, maps and locations will be forwarded to you.

If you know of anyone who would appreciate being sent our updates and who is not currently receiving them, please notify us at this e-mail address. If you and your planting team need an alternate planting date other than a weekend, please reply to this e-mail with numbers of planters and what times work best for you in the week before April 19.

It appears that we have just enough pledges and contributions to cover the expenses for our planting this spring. Any funds you or your friends can raise will still be greatly appreciated and will be applied to next year’s planting as the Million Tree Project will not stop until a million trees have been planted! Send all tax-deductible contributions to: Million Tree Project, 501 S. Second St., Mankato, MN 56001. — Tom Hagen