MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Planting 10 million trees statewide — that’s the goal of a Pennsylvania nonprofit. Volunteers in Mechanicsburg got a little closer to that goal Saturday, planting nearly 100 trees at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park.
It is the biggest park in Mechanicsburg, but the number of trees has fallen over the years, and volunteers hope to fix that.
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Daniel Lupia joined dozens of fellow volunteers Saturday, helping to plant those trees. They planted over 90 out of 110 trees.
“Three down, 107 to go,” Lupia said. “More trees go down than go up, so it’s awesome to be able to do something here to help that and go in the other direction.”
The project is spearheaded by the borough’s Shade Tree Commission, whose mission includes replacing trees around Mechanicsburg which have been removed.
“We’ve planted lots of trees,” commission member Nancy Luley said.
Luley said planting more trees in the park has long been a goal of the commission.
“It’s been a slow process getting there,” she said.
They didn’t have the budget until Luley’s colleague Bud Agerton reached out to the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership and got the trees for free.
Luley said they chose Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Park because of its size and because it means a lot to families — including hers.
“My kids grew up coming over here, swimming in the pool and playing on the playgrounds. Now I have grandchildren coming over here when they visit,” she said.
Seeing a lot of trees fall over the years, some to disease and others to make room for other projects, has been hard.
“You can see tree stumps,” she said. “This [project] has allowed us to replace all the trees that have come out and more.”
Volunteers spent a few hours Saturday digging, planting and mulching,
“Get it nice and packed in there,” Lupia explained.
Now, the trees are ready to weather the fall and winter.
“We are covering the trees with a protective sleeve,” Lupia said. “Once we pop all these off in the spring, they’re just going to grow bigger and stronger.”
In several months, volunteers will get to see their work pay off.
“I can’t wait to come back in the spring,” Lupia said.
Luley said, “Be fun to watch these trees grow.”
The Shade Tree Commission still has some trees left over. They plan to host more tree-planting events at other parks in Mechanicsburg.