TOWNSEND — More than 100 volunteers planted 2,075 trees in the Blackbird State Forest, in honor of Harriet Tubman’s 200th birthday Saturday.
The initiative will provide beauty, enhance wildlife habitats, fight invasive species and improve water quality in the critical Chesapeake Bay watershed.
These plantings were part of a broader program to commemorate the bicentennial birthday year of Ms. Tubman, as part of International Underground Railroad Month.
“This tree-planting event, along with the guided hikes (held separately), generated a lot of interest and positive feedback for more programming like this from Delaware citizens,” said Kesha Braunskill, Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry coordinator.
She said the service partnered with cultural interpretive guide Dionne Patterson of UGR3DAY Underground Railroad Experiences, the Department of Transportation’s Delaware Byways program and the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware.
She added, “Our forestry staff did an outstanding job in preparing the site for the planting to take place. And volunteers from all over the state did an awesome job getting all the trees planted in under three hours. These planting events are great for community involvement, and everyone gets to see the fruits of their labor for years to come, as they come back to see the forest they helped create.”
The project allowed the Delaware Forest Service to continue its goal of increasing tree canopy, as well as boosting Delawareans’ knowledge and appreciation of forests and forest management.
Volunteers included teachers and students from various schools, honor society students, Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops, and volunteers from the Air Force.
Blackbird State Forest covers nearly 6,000 acres in southern New Castle County and is a stop on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The project was funded by the U.S. Forest Service and its Chesapeake Bay Program and the Delaware Forest Service and its Urban and Community Program.
To find out how to get involved in plantings or other tree-inspired programs, visit here.