Students from Park and River View schools in Kaukauna helped planted trees at the Grignon Mansion on Arbor Day.

KAUKAUNA — Arbor Day was busy around the Grignon Mansion Friday as a group of students from Park Community Charter School donated money for a tree in the morning and River View Middle School students planted trees in the afternoon.

Park School participated in the Milwaukee Bucks Trees for Threes program and was awarded a $387 check to use towards planting a tree in the community.

They presented a check to plant a tree at Grignon Mansion to help replace those cut down due to the Emerald Ash Borer.

Then in the afternoon, a class of 21 fifth-grade students from River View Middle School worked with the City of Kaukauna Street Department to plant six trees along the soccer fields near lower Grignon Park.

Every year the city works with area schools to educate students on the importance of preserving our forests and natural habitats.

“From wildlife sanctuaries to hydropower utilities, nature has provided for the City of Kaukauna,”Mayor Tony Penterman said in a news release. “As a community, we must in turn make sure that we protect our natural resources. Education is a big part of ensuring that these resources remain available for generations to come.”

Arbor Day, first established in Nebraska in 1872, celebrates the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees.

Trees play an important role in the City of Kaukauna. Recently awarded Tree City USA for the 31st year in a row, and recognized as an official Bird City since 2015, the community is dedicated to the preservation of its forests.

“This event gives kids a great opportunity to learn through a hands-on experience. It allows them to give back to the community and work together with their peers outside of the classroom,” said Sadie Swedberg, fifth grade teacher at Riverview Middle School. “Through this opportunity, the kids are able to see the entire process of planting trees from beginning to end. I know they will feel pride knowing that they are doing a good deed for their community!”

Reforesting Grignon Park

As much of the nation has experienced, the emerald ash borer has made a large impact on the trees at Grignon Park. The emerald ash borer is an invasive wood-boring beetle that feeds on the inner bark of an ash tree during its larvae state, killing it slowly from the inside out. This spring, over 200 ash trees afflicted by the emerald ash borer were removed from the park.

To replace the trees, the City of Kaukauna has created a reforestation plan.

“A majority of the trees in Grignon Park happened to be ash trees,” said Lily Paul, associate planner. “We are looking at incorporating a variety of trees at different stages of maturity to reforest the area.”

The trees chosen for Arbor Day and the overall reforestation of Grignon Park fall under at least one of four categories of trees: native trees, screening trees, shade trees, and wildlife interest trees.

A large variety of trees will help stop diseases from spreading in the future and will lessen the visual impact if multiple diseased trees are removed.

The City of Kaukauna is applying for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grant program to help fund reforestation efforts.

The prevention of emerald ash borer is critical to further supporting the forests. Using locally sourced firewood is a simple way people can help keep the emerald ash borer from spreading.

Ways to identify an ash tree include opposite branching (their branches grow directly across from one another), compound leaves (grow in groupings), and a unique diamond-shaped bark pattern.

Signs of an afflicted ash tree include missing leaves at the crown of the tree, flaking
bark, and s-shaped lines within the underside of the bark. If people believe they may have an afflicted ash tree, they’re encouraged to reach out to an arborist to determine if the tree can be treated to prevent future damage or if it should be removed

Paid Partnership
Paid Partnership

By staff