In an effort to restore and protect natural areas in Burlington, the Queen City will plant 1,500 native trees and shrubs this weekend.
“Burlington is pretty unique as a city to have 49% of its land to be open space,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.
It’s part of the Restoration Planting Program, a partnership with the local conservation group, Audubon Vermont and the University of Vermont.
“It protects clean water, reduces flood impacts, and it’s beautiful,” said David Mears, Executive Director of Audubon Vermont.
Mears said planting trees will also help with water filtration and erosion control and create habitats for birds and pollinators. He said habitat loss is the number one reason for species going extinct.
“As we lose wetlands, as we lose our fields and forests, we face the kinds of issues we’re currently struggling with,” Mears said. “How do we clean up Lake Champlain? How do we protect ourselves from the increasing intensity and frequency of flood events? All of those kinds of challenges become that much more difficult if we don’t protect our forests.”
The planting will take place at Oakledge Park, along the Burlington bike path, as well as Mckenzie Park—three areas the city determined needed work through its Open Space Protection Plan.
Since the restoration planting began in 2016, the city has planted more than 3,000 trees.
“Engaging the neighborhoods and the community in the tree planting work, that gives everyone a sense of ownership in these parks and a sense of investment in them and their future,” said Dr. Bill Keeton, professor at the University of Vermont.
If you want to participate, you can volunteer planting trees this Sunday at Oakledge Park. It’s happening from 10 am to 12:30 pm. You can sign up at vt.audubon.org/Oakledge.