Despite the rain, Girl Scout, Boy Scout and Cub Scout groups came out to Torguson Park in North Bend on Friday, Nov. 3, for the city’s annual Arbor Day tree planting event.
Mike McCarty, senior planner with the city of North Bend, explained that holding the tree planting event was part of the city’s responsibility as an official “tree city” through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program. The designation of a Tree City allows North Bend to apply for grants for planting trees and clearing along utility lines.
Many other cities recognize Arbor Day in the spring but this event was held in November because the fall is a better time to plant trees, McCarty said.
“One of the standards is conducting an annual Arbor Day event and a lot of jurisdictions do that in the spring time,” he said. “But it’s actually best to plant them in the fall, especially in the Northwest here, it gives the trees a lot of mild winter to establish themselves before the drought of summer comes.”
To earn and maintain Tree City status, several requirements must be met. A city must have a designated tree board or parks commission, the city must recognize Arbor Day, have a tree management plan and have a dedicated budget for trees in the city.
“Trees are really an important part of North Bend’s character, we hear over and over through city planning efforts how much people value trees, they don’t want to see trees cut too much for developments,” McCarty said. “Any time we can preserve trees, it helps to preserve our tree character.”
Both McCarty and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing were glad to see several Scouts come out to the event to help plant the trees at Torguson Park. McCarty said that Si View Metropolitan Parks District is planning to do more landscaping throughout the newly renovated space, and this small tree planting was a kick-off for that.
“It’s a community gathering event, too,” he said. “Anything that brings people together to take ownership and pride in our parks and public spaces is fantastic.”