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Redmond Receives Grant For Arbor Month Event

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond is one of six Oregon communities getting grants to help pay for public events during Arbor Month in April. Towns designated as a "Tree City USA" are required to hold a public Arbor Day celebration. Funds from the nonprofit Oregon Community Trees helps cover expenses for some of those events.

OCT's Jim Gersbach says Redmond has been a Tree City USA for about 19 years, "But this is the first time they’re getting an award to boost their Arbor Month celebrations. So, they’re going to be purchasing customized t-shirts." Those shirts will be worn by Heart of Oregon Corps volunteers during an event in the Dry Canyon. "This is a little different, because they’re not planting trees. They’re doing a fuels reduction work party. And, many parts of Oregon, because of fire suppression, there’s been an increase - an encroachment - too many trees crowding the landscape." Gersbach tells KBND News, "Everyone’s always excited to plant trees, and we certainly encourage that and some of the grants will go toward that. But, the ongoing maintenance of trees is also important. And in this case, where humans have changed the natural shape of those forests by suppressing the fires that would’ve naturally gone through these areas, a fuels reduction program is an innovative way to address that imbalance."

Lake Oswego lost a lot of trees in January’s ice storm. That city's grant will help replace some of those, "They’ll be planting a dozen fairly large - 15 gallon - container-grown Oregon white oaks." Gersbach says, "Oregon white oak is really a native tree, it’s part of a habitat that’s highly endangered because of urbanization and agriculture. So, planting those trees helps put a tree back on the landscape that was probably native." 

Dallas received a grant to offer guided two-hour sessions in a local arboretum, "There’s a lot of evidence that something called 'Forest Bathing,' which is spending time in a wooded area, can actually be good for your health, that it actually can lower your stress hormones."

Pendleton will use its grant to purchase a diverse species of trees for its seedling giveaway. Coburg and Rogue River also received funding. 

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