Last weekend, Nurture Nature Center brought together Palisades High School students and Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward volunteers to plant 55 trees and shrubs at Nockamixon State Park, beginning the process of restoring a site decimated by Emerald Ash Borer. Students in Palisades’ STEM Club and Key Club learned from the volunteers and worked to plant the trees, mulch them, water them, and install tree cages for protection from deer.
Since September, NNC’s project assistant, Lauren, has been working with the Palisades STEM Club as they learn about the importance of trees for both the local environment and combating climate change. The club participated in virtual workshops hosted by local experts on native plants, sustainable growing techniques, and habitat restoration; calculated the cobenefits of a tree near their home using i-Tree’s MyTree program; and researched which species were best suited to the site at Nockamixon.
Species planted at the site include red maple, sweetbay magnolia, swamp white oak, pin oak, sycamore, smooth alder, silky dogwood, witch hazel, hackberry, sweetgum, and staghorn sumac. Master Watershed Steward volunteers will care for the trees for the next year or two until they are more fully established, watering and weeding them as needed.
This project was funded by a NOAA Planet Stewards grant and a donation from Octoraro Native Plant Nursery, with logistical support provided by the staff at Nockamixon State Park.