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Hudson Middle School seventh-graders Laurel Cannon, Naiwokai Sendolo, Elise Frantz and Sarah Sparstad, from left, help with the tree planting in the school forest.
Hudson Middle School seventh-graders Laurel Cannon, Naiwokai Sendolo, Elise Frantz and Sarah Sparstad, from left, help with the tree planting in the school forest.

City's Urban Forestry Program is under way

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outdoors River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Hudson Public Works and Parks Department - with the help of friends - used part of the $8,000 it has for an urban forestry program to plant trees and shrubs in the school forest and Lakefront Park.

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Wednesday afternoon, May 27, members of the Young Naturalists Club and Garden Club at Hudson Middle School planted a total of 82 trees and shrubs in the 10-acre school forest, which is located on city-owned property.

Teachers and community volunteers helped with the effort, under the leadership of middle school teacher Cindy Landers and Public Works and Parks Director Tom Zeuli.

Twenty-three species of trees and 10 species of shrubs were planted in the school forest.

Different varieties of maple, birch, ash, oaks and evergreen trees, as well as walnut, butternut, hickory, basswood and aspen trees, were planted to replace the invasive buckthorn that was removed by student and community volunteers last November.

The shrubs that were planted included hawthorn, plum, serviceberry, dogwood and hazelnut.

Thursday evening, May 28, another group of volunteers (and some who also worked in the school forest) planted a total of 87 trees and shrubs along a city walking path that runs north from the Lakefront Park bathhouse.

A trio of experts gave the volunteers instructions on proper planting before they went to work.

Starla Enger, owner of My Sister's Garden nursery in North Hudson, was the keynote speaker for the short program.

Mike Deneen of the town of Hudson, a soil expert, and Ken Holman, a Hudson resident and head of the Minnesota DNR's Community Forestry Program, also spoke.

Zeuli said the trees and shrubs that were planted are native to this area. The Public Works and Parks Department removed a tangle of invasive buckthorn and other brush to make way for the new trees.

"This has been just an amazing transformation from the trashy undergrowth that was in here," said Enger. "It's just really important to get rid of the invasives that continue to spread everywhere. And buckthorn is one of the worst."

She added: "I use this path all the time. I hope people use it more now that it is even more enjoyable."

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