Celebrate the Start of Tree Planting Season on October 20th

October 15, 2018 | by Erin Sirianni

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Hundreds of volunteers will be joining the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and the City of Mercer Island for the Annual Tree Planting Celebration at Luther Burbank Park on Saturday, October 20th. At this year’s event, the City of Mercer Island will be recognized as a designated Tree City USA and will be celebrating its first Arbor Day.

The City and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust welcomes the community to join the celebration and to help plant over 1,000 native trees and shrubs to improve and enhance local urban forest habitat.

“When you plant a native tree, you are building the sustainable future of our region,” said Jon Hoekstra, Greenway Trust Executive Director. “Our Tree Planting Celebration is an incredible opportunity for the whole family to have fun outdoors together and make a positive impact.”

Mercer Island joins 3,400 communities across America that have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA. This is achieved by meeting four core standards of sound urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and celebrating Arbor Day. Obtaining this distinction not only recognizes the many ways the City of Mercer Island supports trees and urban forestry, it also makes the City eligible for new grant opportunities to support on-the-ground forest restoration work and policy development.

The event is sponsored by Carter Subaru and Volkswagen. Since 2008, Carter Subaru and Volkswagen has planted more than 175,000 native trees in the Mountains to Sound Greenway, of which Mercer Island is a part. Through this commitment to reduce their carbon footprint, Carter Subaru and Volkswagen planted one tree for every test drive and an additional three trees for every car sold. During a lifespan of about 75 years, those four trees will absorb the approximate amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average car driven in one year.

The Tree Planting Celebration begins at 9 am (rain or shine), with a brief ceremony and comments by Mercer Island Mayor Debbie Bertlin and other elected officials during lunch at noon. This will be an excellent community event for individuals, families, groups, and work teams. The Greenway Trust provides all the tools, plant material, gloves, and project oversight – no experience necessary. Volunteers are encouraged to pre-register at www.mtsgreenway.org/volunteer.

Photo credit: Ray Lapine