Five Collegedale Girl Scout troops (40734, 40213, 40224, 40580, and 40263), put into action their belief in the Girl Scout slogan, “do a good turn daily.” Numerous scout members volunteered to “do their good turn” and assisted the city of Collegedale in planting and replacing trees destroyed in the 2020 Easter tornado.
Members of the Eco Explorers Program along with their parents, assisted in helping plant more trees. The Eco Explorers members are part of an outdoor education program offered by Collegedale’s Parks and Recreation Department for school-age participants. Members participate in hands-on activities, games on environmental science, conservation, ecology, and various STEM topics.
The tree planting events were a result of a nearly $3,000 grant the city received through the Urban Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. Earlier this year, the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council announced that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry selected Collegedale as one of its 2020 TAEP Community Tree Planting Recipients. The city's application for the grant included 58 trees of carefully selected species to ensure that they would do well given their individual location.
The grant contained a requirement for the formation of a citizen tree board. Four of the citizen tree board members - Johnnie Hoskins, Jared Odell, David Barto and Ruthie Gray - worked alongside the two groups of volunteers and the city to assist with the plantings.
Kirsten Ert and Kelly Martin with Collegedale’s Planning and Economic Development Department hosted the two events, working with City Engineer Wayon Hines to find the best locations for planting. Collegedale’s Public Works Department helped dig the holes while the Parks and Recreation Department assisted with organizing the events. The Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation helped with the equipment.
“Both events went very well,” said Ms. Ert. “We had excellent weather and with the help of all our volunteers, we planted 26 trees that will expand the city’s tree canopy and make our greenway even more beautiful.”
The city of Collegedale plans to apply for the grant again next year, and if successful, anticipates hosting more community planting events in the future. For more information on the tree planting project, go to the project website https://bit.ly/3fpcWvy or contact Collegedale City Planner Kirsten Ert at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions/comments, and/or if you would like to be added to the list for interested participants in any future events.