Locations across Bartow County on Friday, Feb. 21, became a little greener as Master Gardeners, students and other community members gave back to the Earth during Georgia’s annual Arbor Day celebration.
Bartow Master Gardeners gave out seedlings and provided planting advice while Georgia Power representatives provided free compact fluorescent bulbs to interested participants. In Adairsville, Bartow Master Gardeners opted to help revive the landscape of a town struck by a tornado on Jan. 30, 2013.
“They were not able to participate [last year] because of the tornado and the timing was not right for them to respond, so we had time left over and [Bartow County Master Gardener volunteers] wanted to help any way we could,” Master Gardener Warren Davenport said. “... Now that we’ve gone through winter and are going through spring time, it’s the time to plant and they’ve desired to replace some of the street trees.”
The Master Gardeners planted River Burch trees, which Davenport described as a relatively fast growing tree that does “extremely well” as a street growing tree.
“... Within the next three and seven years [the trees should provide] adequate shade and the beauty will start right away,” Davenport said. “This is just our way of saying we’re sorry this happened, this is a new year and this is a time to get things growing again and get the community enjoying what nature has provided.”
At the Georgia Highlands College Cartersville Campus, the Green Highlands worked to assist Master Gardeners in their efforts on Arbor Day.
“We are the sustainability group at Georgia Highlands,” student Laurel Wickman said. “We work to try and make our campus more sustainable in the long run through recycling, composting, trying to help out the environment as much as we can, planting pollinator gardens and helping distribute trees.”
For example, the Cartersville campus features a pollinator garden.
“A lot of trees and ecological [areas] have been pulled up and made way for parking lots or buildings or roads and so we are trying to give the pollinating insects that cross distribute the pollen a little safe haven and nourishment that is becoming increasingly less,” Wickman said. “...The resounding theme when you talk to Green Highlands members is we care about the environment and our influence on it.
“Instead of the negative influence humans usually have on the environment, we choose to make a positive change.”
Master Gardener Jo Ann Dorsey was on site at GHC who, along with Davenport, said it was important to promote the planting of trees throughout Bartow County as well as the state.
“Just like green plants in your house clean the air, trees will clean a lot of pollution out of the environment and that’s a good thing,” Dorsey said.