Day celebrates trees |

Day celebrates trees

Trees are the answer — at least they will be in Park City on May 13.

Park City has scheduled its Arbor Day celebration on that day, a Saturday, and is holding an event at City Park at 9 a.m. It will be scheduled at the same time as Recycle Utah’s Pride in Your Park Day. Maria Barndt, Park City’s landscape gardener, will give out seedlings.

"I would think that they are very valuable to us," Barndt said about trees in Park City, noting that birds are returning to the area.

Barndt said lots of Park City’s trees were toppled during the city’s mining heyday but in recent decades there has been an effort to restore the trees. Barndt said, in the 1980s, herself and the city’s Parks Department aggressively started planting trees.

"There just wasn’t a lot of tree planting going on here," she said.

Barndt plans to have a table at the Pride in Your Park day to give out seedlings. Types of seedlings she intends to have at the event include, thin leaf alder, douglas fir, Gambel oak, narrow leaf cottonwood and bigtooth maple.

The seedlings will be free. There is a limit of one per visitor.

Handouts about planting trees, bumper stickers and information about how to begin planting a backyard will also be available.

"Awareness is what I want to accomplish," Barndt said.

The event will continue Park City’s efforts to keep the city full of trees. In 2005, Park City was proclaimed a Tree City USA, she said. The government must spend a certain amount of money planting or maintaining trees to keep the designation.

"You just don’t plant a tree and walk away from it," Barndt said.

In the city’s 2005 fiscal year, $50,000 was budgeted for planting and maintaining trees, Barndt said.

Last year, she said, the local government planted 65 trees, pruned 250 and removed five trees. In 2006, she wants to plant about 200 trees. She said the efforts will be focused at the new recreation complex at Quinn’s Junction, the new garage on Swede Alley and the Racquet Club. She said the recreation complex will receive the most trees in 2006.

Dan Lambe, a vice president with the Lincoln, Neb.-based National Arbor Day Foundation, said the 2006 designation will be Park City’s thirteenth.

"Communities that are properly managing trees . . . find there are social benefits, economic benefits, health benefits," Lambe said.

He said, for instance, a strategically planted tree near a house or business can reduce air-conditioning bills, that trees can increase property values and that tree-lined commercial districts attract shoppers.

To become a Tree City USA, communities must spend at least $2 per resident each year on forestry programs and employ a staffer or board to manage trees, among other requirements.

Lots of other cities in Utah have won the Tree City USA designation, including some with the honor more years than Park City. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, Murray has been named a Tree City USA more frequently than other Utah cities, with 28 years. Other Utah cities that have 20 years of designations or more are Springville, with 26, Provo, with 21, Ogden, with 21, and Logan, with 20.

Park City is tied with places like Hill Air Force Base, Moab, Orem and Smithfield.

For more information, call Barndt at 615-5638.

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