SESNA and Plant for the Planet: 2019 Street Tree Planting Party

SESNA’s very own Jeff Leach, Kirk Leonard, and Arnaud Verstuyf teamed up with volunteers from the Salem Plant for the Planet Academy to plant cherry and maple street trees on 18th and 21st Streets in Salem, as part of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day “Day of Service.”

Planting Pic 1
Phil Carver, Linda Wallmark, Shawn Newswanger, and Kate Newswanger from 350 Salem/Plant for the Planet, and SESNA’s Kirk Leonard wrap up planting a Kwanzan cherry on 21st Street.
2018 Salem PftP Academy students learning.

What’s “Plant for the Planet,” you ask? This international organization conducts one-day “Academy” workshops for kids in 66 countries all over the world. Students, currently in 4th through 12th grade, learn about climate change, climate and environmental justice, and public speaking. As part of the full-day Academy, they also plant trees. At the end of the day, they give a presentation to parents and others to practice what they’ve learned.

They then speak at public events, like the Salem March for Science and the upcoming Clean Energy Jobs Lobby Day on February 6, 2019, sponsored by Renew Oregon. They also join in monthly tree-planting parties, as part of Plant for the Planet’s goal of planting one trillion trees worldwide. They’ve already planted 15 billion trees!

The below video provides some background on the organization:

The second annual local Academy was held in Salem in October 2018, bringing 13 students from Salem-area schools. SESNA co-sponsored the event, along with Salem Environmental Education, Pringle Creek Sustainable Living Center, and Willamette Valley Music.

2018’s Salem PftP Academy students and volunteers.

SESNA has worked with neighbors and the City of Salem since 2013 to increase the number of street trees in the residential parts of our neighborhood. We’ve installed 139 trees over the years, and found ourselves with only five to plant this year. It was a small planting party, but a fun time and a perfect day for it.

Planting 2
SESNA’s Arnaud Verstuyf teams up with Holly, Audrey, and Callum Harrington to dig the perfect hole for another Kwanzan cherry.
SESNA’s Jeff Leach gives volunteers a quick lesson on planting street trees. This is one of dozens of trees planted for Jeff!

This year, trees were installed along SE 21st and 18th Streets.

No doubt you are wondering how you can get more street trees on your block, aren’t you?

Good news! If you’re in the SESNA boundaries, we can help and will even plant the trees for you. Outside our area? We will be happy to connect you with the right folks at the City of Salem so you can get the right trees for your location.

For full information on SESNA’s street tree planting program, including how to sign up to get your free street tree, click HERE.




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