300 New Trees Planted in Arlington

Volunteers who helped to plant 300 saplings in BonhAir Park where summer floods had toppled many mature trees along the banks of Four Mi8le Run. I-66 in background.

Volunteers planted 300 saplings Saturday, Oct. 13, in Bon Air Park where summer floods had toppled many mature trees along the banks of Four Mile Run. Photos by Jo Allen

 

Summer rains flooded many a basement in Arlington, but along Four Mile Run as it courses through Bon Air Park, precipitation caused a wipeout. The roots of many mature trees on the banks of the creek gave way after being inundated, and water overflowed the banks, leaving former picnic areas saturated and still soggy.

The muddy conditions did not deter several dozen volunteers, led by TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria and Arlington Regional Master Naturalists, from planting 300 saplings in what is now recognized as a bottomland. The young trees, ranging from 4 to 6 feet tall, were nestled among mature trees that withstood the flood. Eventually, the saplings will replace trees that reach the end of their lifespans.

Joanne Hutton, center, in blue cap, checks the planting level of saplings installed in BonAir Park as volunteers tidy up.

Joanne Hutton, center, in blue cap, checks the planting level of saplings installed in BonAir Park as volunteers tidy up.

Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation organized the volunteer effort on Saturday, Oct. 13, bought the new trees, and delivered them to the park near the entrance to the Custis Trail under I-66. As the volunteers matched Swamp white oak, Pin oak, River birch, Sycamore, Willow and Red maple trees to flags set out by Andrew Knapik, the Urban Forestry unit’s tree planting coordinator, county crews worked elsewhere in the park to fill eroded hillsides and move picnic tables to higher ground.

Lyndell Core, a park manager for Arlington County, oversaw installation of the 300 saplings as laid out by Andrew Knapik, the county's tree planting coordinator.

Lyndell Core, a park manager for Arlington County, oversaw installation of the saplings as laid out by Andrew Knapik, the county’s tree planting coordinator.

Lyndell Core, a county park manager, said Bon Air Park was the hardest hit by floods this year. Even the park’s basketball court was damaged by the high water, and a picnic table or two floated downstream.

So, how long does it take around 50 people to plant 300 trees? Three hours, if this outing was any indication. Many thanks to all the volunteers who planted, several for the first time.

About TreeStewards

TreeStewards of Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, are trained volunteers who work to protect, preserve, and enhance urban tree canopy through public education and volunteer activities such as planting, pruning, and caring for trees.
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