Children to plant trees in Minot parks

Minot’s parks lost trees in the Souris River flood of 2011, but this summer children will be helping to make the parks beautiful for the future.

“What I really love about this project is that it’s a living legacy of our teens giving back to the community,” said Jane Malsom, one of the teachers of the Teen Impact camps that will be planting trees in the parks this June. “They’re going to be there for many years.”

The youth camps, which will be held the second, third and fourth weeks in June, are funded by the Character Leadership Foundation. The foundation also provided funds to purchase 300 seedlings from a nursery in Towner.

“I’m really excited,” said Malsom. “We’re going to be replacing 300 trees that were lost due to the flood.”

Malsom said she received permission from the Minot Park District two months ago to purchase the trees.

Minot city forester Brian Johnson said that, in all, about 1,000 seedlings will be planted in parks throughout the city thanks to grants and donations.

Some of the varieties that will be planted include bur oak, Scotch pine, Black Hills spruce, Siouxland poplar, Midwest Manchurian crab apple and northern hackberry, among others.

Johnson said some varieties, like the bur oak and the Scotch pine, are currently planted in the parks while others are newer varieties that are well-suited to this climate.

The trees will be planted in open areas of the parks where there is room for them.

Johnson said he is happy that people are so invested in replanting the parks. While many of the older, sturdier trees survived the flood, many of the saplings that were under 5 years old were lost to the floodwaters. Johnson said Oak Park also lost many of its oak trees.

Johnson said he plans to have other children plant some of the new seedlings as part of an Arbor Day project this month.

Malsom said the youth camps in June will also include a variety of activities that are intended to teach kids about good character. The children will take part in team building exercises, listening exercises and develop their speaking skills. They will identify their own strengths and discuss how they can use them to lead others. Tree planting is a community service project that will help kids discover how to bring the hero out in themselves.

The youth camps are free for Minot Public Schools students who are currently enrolled in grades 4-8. Applications are available at the Jim Hill Middle School office. For more information, call Malsom at 857-4544. Melanie Kavadas also teaches the youth camp, which will be held at Jim Hill.