Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spring Planting 2009

It is difficult to imagine that spring will finally come when considering the length of this long, cold winter, but the Bend of the River Million Tree Project will soon be preparing for the 2009 planting season. To begin with, an overview of last year’s results is appropriate. As of June last year, all the seedlings looked very good. Most of the seedlings planted had put out leaves and it looked like it would be a great year. The dry weather that followed June, however, took its toll. (Mankato was nearly 18” below normal in precipitation for the year by the time of freeze-up.) The seedlings weathered the dry conditions, but the mice, voles and rabbits that the dry weather produced in large numbers, took their toll. By fall, many of the seedlings had been chewed off or girdled. However, with this winter’s snow pack there is a good likelihood that many will come back from the roots this spring.

That brings us to this year’s efforts. In the shadow of the worldwide economic downturn we have decided to scale back a bit on what we might attempt. We still have some funds left from last year’s drive, and, of course, for those of you still employed and doing well, we would appreciate continued contributions!

Make checks payable to Centenary MTP and send to:
Million Tree Project
c/o Centenary Methodist Church
501 S. Second St.
Mankato, MN 56001

We will use our funds to interplant the two sites from last year, trying some slightly larger 2-year stock to be placed among last year’s seedlings with the hopes for a better growing season. Again, we’ll need volunteers to help in the planting scheduled this year for April 18. We’ll also need some volunteers to help with thistle control on both sites in June-July.

In addition, Home Depot is working on the possibility of doing a corporate planting, perhaps along county Hwy 90. If you are interested in helping with the planting or thistle control this year please respond to this e-mail so that we can keep our list current. I’ll keep you informed as to the progress as the season progresses.

Lastly, a special thank you to Malda Farnham for her untiring service last year in organizing and planting and thistle control. She will be unable to assist this year and her help will be sorely missed. I am in need of an additional person(s) to step up and help keep the project moving ahead. Anyone out there who might have some time to commit this spring please contact me through this e-mail address!

Thank you for your continuing interest in the Million Tree Project.

Tom Hagen