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Delaware Nature Society seeking volunteers for Nov. 14 Middle Run tree planting

Delaware News Desk
Delaware Nature Society is seeking volunteers to help plant trees at  Middle Run Natural Area in Newark from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 14.

Delaware Nature Society is seeking volunteers to help plant trees at  Middle Run Natural Area in Newark from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 14. 

Since 1991, thousands of volunteers have helped to plant about 55,000 trees at the New Castle County park, located near Paper Mill and Possum Park roads in Newark.

The White Clay Creek has been designated by the federal government as a “wild and scenic river,” which helps to preserve the quality and health of the waterway. Increasing forest habitat provides food and shelter for various native wildlife. Stream buffers slow down and filter pollutants and help to reduce erosion. Tree planting also has other benefits, including making a positive impact on climate change.

“I look forward to lending a hand and joining volunteers every year in the Delaware Nature Society’s annual tree planting event,” said New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer. “We are so thankful of our partnership with DelNature and the dozens of volunteers who come out every year to help give Mother Nature a boost. These trees will provide habitat and promote health and sustainability in Middle Run Park for generations to come.”

“Middle Run is the largest park in the county park system and is one of the few places in New Castle County where visitors are able to enjoy hundreds of contiguous acres of relatively mature forest rich in plant and animal diversity,” said New Castle County Parks Division Manager Kendall Sommers.

At Middle Run, Delaware Nature Society has planted various native deciduous hardwoods, including tulip tree, ash, sycamore and oak, in addition to such native shrubs as viburnum, serviceberry and chokeberry. All trees absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and “sequester,” or store, the carbon in the trunks, branches and leaves. The rate at which they do varies by species, soil type, climate, topography and other factors. Science shows planting native trees in appropriate locations provides maximum benefit.

“Tree plantings increase the park's forest habitat and help increase stream buffers next to Middle Run, a tributary of White Clay Creek," said Jim White, senior fellow for land and biodiversity management for the Delaware Nature Society. 

Trees planted are protected from deer damage with cages, and each volunteer is taught how to plant a tree properly to help ensure they grow to maturity. Another key component of success is ongoing maintenance of the trees by DelNature. This can mean watering a newly transplanted tree during a dry spring or removing bittersweet or other invasive vines from a mature tree years after planting.

Volunteers are asked to bring a shovel and a jug of water to water the first tree and to later use for refills. Pre-registration is required, and masks and social distancing will be mandatory during the event.

To register, visit bit.ly/38udz5z.

For more, visit delawarenaturesociety.org.