Antrim trees planted to help the bay
The rain had essentially ceased by the time volunteers showed up at Martins Mill Bridge Park Saturday morning. The damp ground was ideal for the project at hand, though, planting 104 trees.
The native trees and shrubs were provided by Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. They were part of the Trees for Tomorrow Program, with a goal to plant 150,000 trees in the Conococheague watershed by 2016. The trees were desired to filter stormwater runoff, reduce flooding, and cool the temperature of the creek to strengthen the habitat of the trout population.
Antrim Township parks director Mike Condo made sure the park was ready.
“The prep work was our responsibility,” he said.
Township crews had been out the day before with a bobcat auger to drill the holes at the spots identified by the Alliance, and to mow.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 99 and Webelos Pack 13 and a few citizens helped with the manual labor.
Daniel Nagle, 11, gave a resounding “No” on whether the work was his first choice on how to spend a weekend morning. His dad Jay had another opinion.
“It’s a good idea. A good thing for the Scouts, to get exercise and get outdoors.”
Jake Kumfert, 10, also grabbed a shovel.
“I’m here to plant and to help.”
His dad Alex thought the event was “fantastic”, and an opportunity to give back to the community.
Denise Shifflet wiped her sneakers in the grass to clear off the mud, then stepped back into the mud to plant the next tree.
“I come out here so much with my five dogs and my best friend every Sunday morning,” she said. “That makes seven dogs. We love the area and I want to contribute as much as I can.”
The trees were planted in three distinct areas — along the stream as the riparian buffer, in the center of the park, and against the hillside.
Condo credited Bud Marshall, a member of the Greencastle Shade Tree Commission, with alerting him to the program and doing the legwork to get it scheduled.
The planting program is a partnership with the Franklin County Commissioners and the Alliance, with funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.
Antrim received another 42 trees, which the staff planted at Antrim Township Community Park. The species for both locations included various oaks, maple, sycamore, dogwood, redbud and berries.