Workers in the Tree Trust program who completed projects in Washington County participated in an awards ceremony and picnic at Lake Elmo Park Reserve Aug. 17.
Tree Trust was created in 1976 to address two problems in communities — the devastation of the urban tree canopy from Dutch elm disease and the high unemployment and poverty rates for youth and adults at the time.
The response by Tree Trust was to fight issues by hiring unemployed individuals and training them to plant trees and reforest the Twin Cities.
Since then, Tree Trust has expanded to offer integrated employment training, case management, community forestry, and environmental education programs.
Tree Trust works through the Washington County WorkForce Center to provide summer work opportunities for youth, who provide improvements to parks throughout the county.
Projects completed this year included:
Washington County’s Square Lake Park, installing timbers, which will provide handicapped access to the fishing pier, and access to the lake for scuba divers. They also replaced worn timbers in the existing staircase.
Woodbury’s Shawnee Park, building a modular block wall, and re-grading and back-filling the newly-installed wall.
Woodbury’s Shawnee Park, Evergreen West Park, and Colby Lake Park scraping, cleaning and painting ice rinks.
Woodbury’s Bielenberg Sports Center, chipping wood and mulching more than 2,500 trees.
Cottage Grove’s Lamar Park, leveling and installing more than 1,800 pavers in a pad between bocce ball courts, and installing a timber edger at the ends of the paver pad.
Cottage Grove’s Oakwood Park, building a timber staircase with paver inlays.
At the Aug. 17 event, Tree Trust crewmembers were recognized for participation and perfect attendance. Workers with exemplary performance were recognized with “Governor’s Awards” to note their performance.