Delaware Nature Society and New Castle County Middle Run Tree Planting November 6, Volunteers Needed

Get your shovel ready and help Delaware Nature Society (DelNature) plant trees at the annual Middle Run Tree Planting on Saturday, November 6. Since 1991, thousands of volunteers have helped to plant approximately 55,000 trees at the Middle Run Natural Area – a New Castle County Park located near Paper Mill and Possum Park roads in Newark. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, November 6 with tree planting from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

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 a wide variety of native wildlife. Stream buffers slow down and filter pollutants and help to reduce erosion. Tree planting also has myriad other benefits, including making a positive impact on climate change.

“I look forward to lending a hand and joining volunteers every year in Delaware Nature Society’s annual tree planting event,” said County Executive Matt 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 Kendall Sommers, New Castle County Parks Division Manager.

At Middle Run Natural Area, DelNature has planted a variety of 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 tells us that 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,” says Jim White, Senior Fellow for Land & Biodiversity Management for Delaware Nature Society.

“The UN Climate Conference this week highlighted the devastating impact deforestation has had on our changing climate.  Our partnership with New Castle County in this decades long reforestation effort will have lasting impacts in our community by protecting our waterways, preserving wildlife habitat and biodiversity, while attributing to this call to action to replenish our forests. Planting a tree is a simple and meaningful way to support our environment,” said Joanne McGeoch, Interim Executive Director for Delaware Nature Society.

All of the trees that are 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. Unvaccinated people are recommended to wear a mask.

Delaware Nature Society’s (DelNature) mission is to connect people with the natural world and improve our environment through education, advocacy, and conservation. Founded in 1964, DelNature is a state affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation. We provide the tools for communities to take action and promote the health of the environment through land preservation, wildlife protection, watershed stewardship, and more. We manage over 2,000 acres of land and operate four educational sites: Ashland Nature CenterAbbott’s Mill Nature CenterDuPont Environmental Education Center, and Coverdale Farm Preserve.

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