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After delays, Farmington students plant trees in local parks

Members of Dodge Middle School's Green Team helped to put down mulch around new trees planted in Rambling River Park.

After having their event put off three times, the students of Dodge Middle School's Green Team finally got to help plant trees in Farmington's Rambling River Park on May 17.

The event was originally supposed to be held April 26, in conjunction with Farmington's annual Arbor Day celebration. Actually, a group of students from North Trail Elementary School was supposed to plant trees at Lake Julia that day, and the Green Team kids were supposed to help plant the trees at Rambling River Park later in the same day.

And then, it snowed. So the Arbor Day tree plantings for both groups were rescheduled to May 3.

And then, it snowed. So the Arbor Day tree plantings were rescheduled to May 10.

And then, it rained. But at least, the North Trail Elementary School kids were able to get out to Lake Julia on May 10, just barely missing another round of rainfall, to plant a dozen trees near the parking lot and the shelter that was installed last year.

Planting two dozen or so trees for Rambling River Park, though, was put on hold until May 17, because predicted rain on May 10 left the ground too wet to work with.

Finally, last Friday, the tree planting was completed. Farmington parks and recreation director Randy Distad said the parks staff ended up planting the trees on Thursday, just to be safe, but the Green Team kids helped to put down mulch around the trees.

In his years in Farmington, Distad can only recall one other time when the Arbor Day event had to be postponed, and that was only for one week. This year was a different kind of challenge.

"Working with both North Trail and Dodge and the students, we couldn't just go ahead and postpone it without coordinating schedules," Distad said. "We had to make sure the students could come and do it the following week."

The trees planted in Rambling River Park are called arborvitae, and were deliberately chosen for the site. The new trees replace pine trees that had been located next to the tennis courts. Those pine trees were dropping needles. The acid from the needles was staining the tennis court, Distad said.

The arborvitae trees do not drop needles, and will eventually create a good wind block for the court. Not only that, but since the trees can get to be 12 to 15 feet in height, they will provide a good barrier between the tennis courts and the Farmington Veterans Memorial, which is now under construction at Rambling River Park.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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