Neighborhood Forest has three main goals:
=> Give children a way to connect with the Earth.
=> Beautify neighborhoods.
=> Help families make a small dent in their carbon foot-print.
Each year for Earth Day the organization gives free trees (6-12 inches in size) to school children. They do this in cooperation with parents, school administrators, and teachers throughout the Twin Cities with the hope that the students and their parents are willing to plant and care for them.
Olivia with one of the trees she planted next to the driveway.
Since 2010, Neighborhood Forest has reached over 10,000 school children who have helped plant over 5,000 trees across the Twin Cities and beyond.
So, I signed up Sophia and Olivia to each receive a tree. I received an email back asking if I would be willing to plant more trees. Absolutely!
Sophia planting one of the trees in the front yard.
So, in late-April, right before Earth Day, we received 12 free northern white cedar trees from Neighborhood Forest.
Olivia planting one of the trees in the grouping in the front yard.
This should make a nice windbreak, and
hopefully we'll see some wildlife benefit from the shelter once the trees are larger.
We talked about where we wanted to plant the trees - not only to benefit us, but for others to enjoy as well. We decided to plant ten of the twelve trees in the front yard where people driving, walking, or biking by can see them. The remaining two trees are in the backyard.
Sophia lifting the sod and preparing a hole for the tree.
The northern white cedar trees are a new type of tree to our farm. We have a variety of evergreen trees, but not of this variety.
Olivia and Sophia in the process of planting eight trees in the front yard.
The trees will grow to a height of 25 to 50 feet, and a diameter of 1 to 2 feet. There will be small, oblong cones that stand up on flattened branchlets that are covered by overlapping, scale-like leaves.
The thin bark sheds in long, narrow strips. Sometimes referred to as the "Swamp Cedar" it typically is found growing on limestone soils in moist to boggy habitats. \
Olivia planting one of the trees in a wooded area next to the driveway.
We planted two of the twelve trees in this area.
White-tailed deer use these thickets in winter, and smaller mammals as well as birds feed on its seeds. Because of this, we grouped the trees together so they can provide some shelter during the winter. There are eight trees in the front yard, two next to the driveway, and two in the backyard.
We're excited to see the trees grow, and are so happy that Neighborhood Forest gave us this opportunity to plant a dozen trees!