More to the Story with Staley: Planting Trees

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Chattanooga is one of over 3,400 cities in America listed as an official “Tree City.” To be designated as such, a city has to meet certain guidelines. That’s why “Arbor Day In Tennessee” is such a big deal for a whole lot of folks.

It’s an early morning gathering at the Shepherd Community Center. City workers, city officials and a slew of volunteers are on hand.

All of the utensils are here. You name it, it’s here. And the goal is pretty simple: the volunteers are going to plant trees. It’s a mission!

“One of our missions is to teach people how to garden, and to garden well. Or even teach people how to do landscaping,” said volunteer Carlton Mathes. “Chattanooga is a passionate city. They get out and do things. If you have it, they will come.”

Chattanooga does this every year. It’s the 34th annual event.

The city’s Tree Commission, the Department of Public Works, Parks and Outdoors, along with moms, dads and kids, apply the elbow grease to trees that are native to the Southeast.

Of course, the volunteers are given a quick, slap-course in planting. Then it’s off to plant 34 trees.

They are not only beautifying the area, but educating folks as well, on the importance of what they’re doing.

Christina Gibson is an arborist for the city. She said, “Planting in the city is extremely important. There are a ton of benefits. It’s important to having an urban forest. It’s cleaning the air, cleaning the water, as well as filtering and holding storm water.”

“I think it’s important to get people involved in the city’s tree canopy. It’s important for interest and participation,” city forester Pete Stewart said.

Along with the trees, perennial flowers were planted in various locations. It’s all part of encouraging physical activity as well. As for the trees, they’ve been shown to reduce stress in ones life.

“Trees can slow crime. They can improve traffic. There are a lot of benefits for the city,” Gibson said.

Tree pruning demonstrations were also held, along with games and refreshments.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, More To The Story With Staley