Storms put Arbor Day on ice

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The year’s two late snowstorms wreaked a bit of havoc on Littleton’s Arbor Day celebration, delaying it twice. But Girl Scout Troop 3822 finally braved a tiny chill and lots of mud to help plant trees at Harlow Park on the morning of May 2.

“I learned how to put it in the soil so it could stand still, so it wouldn’t be tilting,” said Sukaina Juwale.

Sukaina and her twin, Yusara, along with Olivia Wallace and Baynyan Worland, are all home-schooled, and this project finished up their science unit for school and earned them each a Girl Scout badge.

Their English oak is just one of the 61 trees planted in the Goddard Middle School neighborhood that day. Over in James Taylor Park, some Rotary members pitched in to help plant a linden tree, and staff from the city and South Suburban Parks and Recreation worked determinedly to get it all done.

Originally, members of the Littleton Rotary, Littleton Sunrise Rotary, Littleton Lions, Littleton Optimists and Littleton Sertoma clubs were to band together to get all those trees planted in the blink of an eye, but the storms threw some scheduling kinks into that idea.

Rotarian Rick Clark said there will be another chance to cooperate on May 18, which is Hands Across Littleton Day.

“It’s focused on helping seniors and mentally challenged residents who can live in their homes but can’t take care of their homes,” he said. Volunteers will complete maintenance projects on five homes this year. It’s been just three in the past, but the South Metro Denver Realtor Association asked to join in this time.

“It adds more hands to help,” said Clark.

The tree project was funded by a grant from Xcel Energy Foundation and the Colorado Tree Coalition. With support from the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forest Service, the Colorado Tree Coalition has, since 1991, awarded 454 grants totaling more than $696,000. Matched by more than $7.6 million in community resources, more than 68,600 trees have been planted throughout the state.

Littleton has been named a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation each of the last 26 years. To qualify, the city must have a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, a community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance.

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