Opinion: Please plant a tree in Fruita, Colorado
Free Press Opinion Columnist
When I return home from traveling anywhere east of the Grand Valley, as I round Mount Garfield, I am always overwhelmed by the beauty of the area. Aside from the mountains, it’s the trees that I notice first.
Trees are a vital and often under-acknowledged part of our city and valley wide infrastructure. During the heat of the summer, they are just as important as sidewalks and streets. For example, I will walk on the side of the street that has the shade and I will choose a parking space that has shade.
The City of Fruita recently kicked off its Thursday Night Concert Series and not a space under a tree was vacant. In most parks, the choice spaces are in the shade.
Municipalities have the ability to plant trees in parks, open space, and street trees in some areas. The gap that needs to be filled now is in new residential subdivisions. It’s not enough that the City of Fruita has been tree focused for more than 20 years. This is a call out to all residents to plant trees in new subdivisions for future residents and homeowners.
To quote author and theologian D. Elton Trueblood, “It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will someday give shade to people he may never meet.”
Take a moment to look around the next time you are driving in Fruita. When you are in the core of the older downtown area, there is a great shade canopy of older, larger, trees. As you move out of the center, the canopy gets smaller and smaller.
Plant a deciduous tree on the west or south side of your house. During the summer the canopy will shade your home to help cool it; and in the winter when the leaves are gone, sunlight will reach your home and help heat it. Trees also help mitigate storm water runoff (we have seen plenty of that this year), hold soil in place, and provide wildlife habitat. In addition, green spaces improve our mental well-being, and we all need a little of that!
Trees can be purchased within any budget at many locations. If you have questions, take advantage of our local Colorado State Extension Office: 970-244-1834. They can answer most tree and plant-related issues, and they have a lot of information on their website: http://www.extension.colostate.edu/TRA.
Plant a tree for today, or plant a tree for tomorrow, but please plant a tree!
Lori Buck is a Fruita native and current mayor.
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