Planting Trees for Climate Change Mitigation
January 23, 2022
Bill Chestnut

Planting Trees for Climate Change Mitigation

Hi, my name is Bill Chestnut and that was birdsong recorded in a tree in my backyard here in Fremont, just one of the benefits of having a tree in your yard. Today I want to talk about Planting Trees for Climate Change Mitigation.

After watching the movie "Kiss the Ground" last year, I watched Lynn Miller give a Kairos moment presentation about TUFA, the Tri-City Urban Forest Alliance on how planting trees in Fremont will be an important part of restoring the balance of nature and helping mitigate climate change, as well. My desire to do something turned into a plan after I contacted Lynn and was recruited as a supervisor/leader for a large planting scheduled for November, 2021 in SaberCat Historical Park.

On October 23, 2021, I celebrated my 70th birthday by training as a supervisor for one of the planting teams. The training program took place at Niles Discovery Church, where we planted five trees in 15 gallon containers, purchased by gifts from the congregation. They were selected by Lynn and delivered here by Lynn and her husband Eric who brought all the planting equipment and a volunteer planting crew.

Volunteer supervisors arrived to find tools, safety equipment, and snacks awaiting us and the holes partially dug. Our instructions were distributed to us and we were instructed in digging the holes to the proper depth, preparing the root ball, properly positioning the tree in the hole, filling the hole back in with dirt after creating a berm, and then covering the planted area with mulch. Each tree was watered that day to ensure the roots would not dry out. Once the trees were planted stakes were pounded into the ground and ties were attached to help secure the tree from wind. This ensures the trees will survive the first year.

Mark Twist spent many hours removing old eucalyptus roots and putting in a water system, which will be used to keep the trees happy during their first years of growth; they are now living there between the parking lot and Niles Boulevard. The Niles Discovery Church trees will be nurtured by us, and in turn, they will grow and nurture us.

On November 6th, I volunteered at Sabercat Historical Park, and along with volunteers from Microsoft and local schools, we planted a total of 80 trees inside of Entrance #4 of Sabercat Trail. The tree species selected are all Natives, broadening and enhancing the habitat corridor of Sabercat Trail, making meaningful contributions to our urban biodiversity habitat for wildlife. Three species of Oaks were the majority of trees planted, as well as redbud and others.

Different groups came together to make it possible - Microsoft donated the funding through Arbor Day Foundation, local highschoolers, known as Greenkeepers, learned how to be planting leaders by TUFA. The groups included: 22 TUFA volunteers, 12 Greenkeeper High School Environmental group volunteers, 13 Microsoft employees, and approximately 10 Sabercat regular high school volunteers who work with Sabrina from the City of Fremont. Two City of Fremont workers delivered the trees, poles and ties.

This is only the beginning of a program that is now being implemented as part of a CalFire grant. This year, TUFA will be planting more trees, not in parks, as was done in 2021, but along city streets surrounding Parkmount Elementary and Washington High School, and in front of homes in the Parkmount neighborhood in February and March!

If you have space for one or more trees on your property, please contact the Green Team, and you will be doing your part for the environment and have a growing green tree to enjoy too. If you'd like to help planting, contact Lynn at 20TUFA20@gmail.com or visit Tufatrees.org for more information.

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