Teaming up for Arbor Day service
The bats were swinging, the state forester was throwing, Smokey Bear was dancing, and the fans were watching. And, when it was all over, the DCNR-Harrisburg Senators team effort to show the value of planting trees in special Arbor Day activities was hailed a success.
Held in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council, a series of Arbor Day evening activities April 24 accented an ongoing “Doubles for Trees” program at the team’s Metro Bank Park in Harrisburg. Since April 1, fans have been told whenever a Senators player hits a double during a home game, two trees will be planted within the greater Harrisburg area as part of DCNR TreeVitalize program.
With Smokey Bear checking out his form, Bureau of Forestry Director Daniel Devlin delivers the first pitch in the Harrisburg Senators-TreeVitalize “Doubles for Trees” effort.
The Senators lost to the Reading Fightin’ Phils, 7-4, but their bats stroked two doubles before a crowd of 3,265, who saw Bureau of Forestry Director Dan Devlin throw out the first pitch. Devlin, who also serves as Pennsylvania’s State Forester Dan participated in an on-field interview before the first pitch, then was the focus of a fourth-inning interview in the stadium press box.
“Dan was able to tout our fantastic state forest and park systems in Pennsylvania, along with the many benefits of urban trees,” said the Bureau of Forestry’s Christine Ticehurst, who organized the event. “Dan mentioned trees are the backbone of healthy communities, and that 75 percent of the wood for Major League Baseball bats is sourced from northern Pennsylvania.”
To date, the Harrisburg Senators have hit 15 doubles during home games. TreeVitalize will match each double hit during a home this season. Anyone can track the doubles hit via the TreeVitalize Doubles for Trees” tracker found here.
“All in all, the Arbor Day festivities made for a great evening!” said Ticehurst, a community greening and grant administration specialist who oversees the bureau’s TreeVitalize efforts. “Smokey Bear was in attendance and was a huge hit with the fans. He even made his dancing debut on the big screen during the game. The evening went so well that an event will be scheduled in September or October along with Smokey to announce the number of total doubles hit/trees to be planted through the season long partnership. TreeVitalize will also promote fall tree planting and fire awareness.”
TreeVitalize is a statewide urban and community forestry program designed to increase and improve tree canopy, educate citizens and increase community forestry capacity. DCNR offers matching grants to communities and non-profit groups seeking to improve and expand local tree cover.
Companies donated use of their equipment and manpower in an Arbor Day of Service at historic Harrisburg Cemetery.
Volunteers, heavy equipment and an abundance of goodwill converged on historic Harrisburg Cemetery on Wednesday, April 22, in the first Harrisburg area Arbor Day of Service.
By all accounts, the day was a great success, participants said. Nine companies contributed personnel and equipment, including two cranes, several bucket trucks, chippers, and highly skilled climbers and ground crews. The Victorian era cemetery was designed as a park and includes a beautiful collection of trees, some of which may date back to when the cemetery was established in the mid-1800s.
The cemetery is the final resting place of many of the city’s founders, state and local elected officials, and war heroes since the Revolutionary War. Yet maintenance costs far exceed the budget of the non-profit cemetery association.
Through contributions of those participating in the Arbor Day of Service, five trees were removed, three of which were huge standing dead trees that could only have been removed with the help of a crane. Two other dead trees were partially removed to reduce risk, and eight healthy trees were pruned as well.
Joining the group for the day were Dauphin County Master Gardeners, who planted trees as part of an ongoing effort to replace those that have died. Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse also joined in planting a tree and read an Arbor Day Proclamation. Cemetery staff prepared a hot lunch for the crew and provided commemorative T-shirts for all.
Participating companies included Bartlett Tree Service with crews from Chambersburg and York; The Crane Man Inc., Chalfont; Cumberland Valley Tree Service, Chambersburg, Goods Tree Care, Harrisburg; Greiner Crane Inc., Hanover; Moonlight Landscape & Tree LLC, Reading; Penn Line Service Inc., Scottsdale (a subcontractor for PPL); and York Tree Service Inc., York.
With a little help from its Bureau of Forestry Friends, the borough of Lewisburg, Union County, again was recognized as a “Tree City USA” for its sustainable management of community trees.
Working with the Lewisburg Shade Tree Commission, the bureau’s Rural and Community Forestry and Forest Health sections, and Bald Eagle State Forest District service forester, developed a plan for managing the invasive emerald ash borer. They took down 170 ash trees and treated many others, and now are replanting trees through a TreeVitalize grant with a lot of community support.
On Arbor Day, Lewisburg was recognized once again as a "Tree City USA," and the local electric utility, Citizens Electric Co, was recognized again as a "Tree Line USA" company—for. Borough and bureau representatives celebrated the honor by planting a tree, of course.
And, on a cold, windy Arbor Day in McAllisterviile, Juniata County, about 80 volunteers planted 350 trees and shrubs, and 740 herbaceous plants between the Lost Creek Park and Fayette Area Lion's Den properties in the Lost Creek watershed.
The project was made possible through funding provided by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Morning refreshments were provided by Sausman Insurance Agency. Lunch was provided by Sal's OIP, Thrivent, Mifflintown Weis, and the Juniata County Conservation District.
Young tree planters pitch in at a McAlisterville, Juniata County, Arbor Day activity.
Volunteers represented Empire Kosher, East Juniata FFA students, Lost Creek Park Board, Fayette Area Lion's Den Board, Boy Scouts of America, McAlisterville Fire Co., Frymoyer Excavating, Fayette Elementary, Fifth Grade Students, the Juniata Watershed Alliance, DCNR, and many community volunteers.
"Even though we had a cold start to the day and the wind was brutal, today about 80 volunteers planted 350 trees and shrubs, and 740 Herbaceous plants between the Lost Creek Park and Fayette Area Lion's Den properties in the Lost Creek watershed in McAlisterville, PA. This project was made possible through funding provided by the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy. Morning refreshments were provided by Sausman Insurance Agency. Lunch was provided by Sal's OIP, Thrivent, Mifflintown Weis, and the Juniata County Conservation District. Volunteers came out from Empire Kosher, East Juniata FFA students, the Lost Creek Park Board, Fayette Area Lion's Den Board, the Boyscouts, the McAlisterville Fire Company, Frymoyer Excavating, Fayette Elementary Fifth Grade Students, the Juniata Watershed Alliance, DCNR, and many more people from the larger community. THANK YOU to all of our awesome volunteers. We couldn't have done it without all of your great help! What a fantastic Arbor Day event."
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