Friday, June 3, 2011

Scouts help plant new OneTree common garden

Scouts from Troop 92 and their leaders planted birch saplings for the OneTree project June 2.

OneTree, a SNRAS forest sciences project that has involved thousands of school children in learning about the science and art of birch trees, added Boy Scouts to the mix June 2.

After learning of the project at an Arbor Day Committee meeting, the Scouts volunteered to assist in planting birch saplings in an area of campus known as the T-field. Fairbanks Experiment Farm Manager Alan Tonne plowed the soil and dug holes for the trees, then 32 Scouts and their leaders showed up to assist.

The saplings came from seeds of the 17 trees harvested at Nenana Ridge after the original OneTree was cut down in July 2009. The branches were forced to leaf out at an exhibit at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors' Center in April, then they were moved to a greenhouse on campus.

OneTree Coordinator Janice Dawe and her crew will gather data at the T-field in the coming years to track how the trees grow. "Then 60 to 100 years from now we will do a second OneTree art and science exhibit from several of the trees we've planted here tonight," said Jesse Hensel, OneTree's art education lead.

As the Scouts wrapped up the planting, Dawe said, "We were so impressed with the energy, care and good humor of Troop 92. What a great bunch!"

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