Oregon Community Trees gives grants to three eastern Oregon communities to boost Oregon Arbor Month events
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Oregon Community Trees (OCT) has awarded half its grants to help communities celebrate Oregon Arbor Month to three eastern Oregon cities - Klamath Falls, La Grande and Umatilla. Along with Lincoln City, Newport and Sweet Home in western Oregon, the communities will share a total of almost $3,000. During the month of April, Oregonians across the state celebrate their community trees and the many benefits they bring.
“These grants help smaller communities achieve a lot of what they hope to do during Arbor Month, from planting trees to engaging youth in tree-related education and activities,” said Morgan Holen, Chair of OCT’s Grants Subcommittee.
To be eligible for a grant, a community must be a Tree City USA. To become a Tree City USA, communities must meet requirements for having basic tree-care policies and management in place. About 70 Oregon communities meet this standard.
Since 2014, OCT has awarded 56 grants to 39 different Oregon Tree City USA communities.
Other recipients this year besides La Grande are:
Klamath Falls is using the $500 it received from OCT to buy a reusable 3’ x 6’ mesh-type banner with grommets and a collapsible aluminum stand with carrying case. The banner will promote the Klamath Tree League, the City’s Tree Advisory Board and Arbor Day celebration partner to increase awareness of this local urban forestry education resource and advocate. Klamath Falls is also celebrating 20 years as a Tree City USA this year.
Few Oregon cities have enjoyed Tree City USA status as long as La Grande, at 33 years. This year the City is receiving $395 for prizes to give to winners of the annual Arbor Day Poster Contest for fourth and fifth-grade students. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department will host a field day for the participating classes with tree-themed presentations and activity stations, ending with the announcement of the poster contest winners. All 200-plus posters will be displayed at La Grande’s public library throughout April to celebrate Oregon Arbor Month.
OCT is giving $750 to the City for trees, planting supplies, and educational materials to support their Arbor Month celebration. Some 130 fifth-grade students at McNary Heights Elementary will be taking part in planting a variety of trees at the local municipal Big River Golf Course on April 28. This is the first grant OCT has made to Umatilla, which has been a Tree City USA for five years.
The OCT is helping Lincoln City Parks and Recreation cover the cost of a native Pacific dogwood to be planted at the Community Center and a sign for the tree. Schoolchildren, Teen Center patrons and community members will plant the tree and dedicate it. Taft High School students will participate in the planting as well as a contest to name the tree. Forestry students at the high school will also give short talks about the benefits of the trees. The $500 grant will also help pay for contest prizes to support the community’s Arbor Month celebration at the Community Center. Lincoln City has held Tree City USA status for 15 years.
The Monterey cypress are native to only a tiny strip of California coastline. Seafarers have long brought back seeds of this picturesque tree to plant in the Newport area, making the trees a highly recognizable feature on this part of the Oregon coast. A number of the cypress were removed during redevelopment projects in the south beach area, so Newport Parks and Recreation is getting $444 to buy a specimen Monterey cypress. The tree will be planted at the south end of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, which opened in 1936. The grant will also cover printing costs for tree-related educational materials. Newport has been a Tree City USA for 11 years.
Sweet Home is receiving $381 to help pay for eight new shade trees to be planted in the City’s new fenced dog park inside Northside Park. Two of the trees are stately Allee elms with attractive exfoliating bark for year-round interest. The Linn County community has been a Tree City USA for 36 years.
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