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Volunteers plant border around Jensen Park in celebration of Arbor Day

Brennan Gabrielson, 3, digs a hole for a vine maple. Hes the son of Oso Lumber employee Katie Sullivan. -
Brennan Gabrielson, 3, digs a hole for a vine maple. Hes the son of Oso Lumber employee Katie Sullivan.
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JENSEN PARK Early morning spring showers subsided just in time for Arlingtons Arbor Day celebration Saturday morning. And the chilly air didnt keep away more than 30 tree advocates and volunteers who brought shovels to help plant trees in the big empty field of Jensen Park which is now surrounded by houses and apartments, not yet occupied.
Employees from Oso Lumber, Shane Hardin, Adam Lingenfelter, Karin Mullins, Scott Bly, Angela Cranswick and Katie Sullivan brought friends and families to help plant trees. Sullivan said that it was Cranswicks idea of having the companys green committee volunteer to plant trees somewhere, sometime.
We started scouting around and it took about two weeks to find out about Arlingtons Arbor Day event, Sullivan said.
Oso lumber employees and families were joined by Nora Dentons nature club and other individuals, including Tim Conway, 17, of Arlington High Schools DECA program.
The DECA club talked helping for extra credit at school, but Im the only one who showed up, Conway said. Nonetheless, he enjoyed the experience.
I like helping out with things like this, he said. Planting trees is always a good thing to do.
City Councilman Dick Butner brought the gold shovel that he received for the ground breaking of the Arlington Police Station a few years ago.
I met my goal and planted five trees, Butner said.
Mayor Margaret Larson launched the activities at 11 a.m. with a Tree City USA proclamation.
I love this event, Larson said. Because I am a real tree person and I get mad when I see people cutting trees down.
The citys staff person for the tree board is Sarah Hegge, who coordinated the event with help from the natural resources manager Bill Blake.
Hegge showed the crowd the Arbor Day Associations plaque honoring Arlingtons fifth year as a Tree City USA and Blake offered a lesson on how to plant trees for the crowed of nearly 25 people with shovels who were there to help plant a border of fir and vine maples around the relatively new city park.
Big leaf maples were also planted in key locations, but the center of the park is being kept open. Several trees planted last year were just starting to leaf out.
We will be putting in playground equipment, but we dont know where, yet, Hegge said.
Angela Cranswicks friend Cale Winter stopped by to view the tree photo contest entries at just the right time to help break a tie on the photo contest and Mike Connor of the Arlington Garden Club won first place for his Twisted Sister.
Sarah Arney beat out Sarah Hegges photo for second place for my Curly Birch and Hegge placed third for her Really Big Tree. The judges were Leslie Larson and Connie Dreke.
The plantings stretched along the board fence on the west side of the park to Kruger Creek, where Nora Denton, Megan Gregarek and Savannah Gregarek got help from Jay Saathof to plant a tree across Kruger Creek from Olympic Place Retirement and Assisted Living Community, where Dee Secher-Jensen lives.
I told the girls that I will baby sit their tree, said Secher-Jensen, who bought a condo at Olympic Place because she was impressed by the park across the street. She and her husband Jarl Secher-Jensen moved to Arlington last year from Pierce County, where they were active with a stream team to protect Clover Creek. Also an historian, Secher-Jensen was curious about the route of the first road through Arlington from Fort Steilacom (near her former home) to Bellingham.
I also wonder where Frank Kents homestead was, she said, looking around the Kent Prairie area, now more commonly known as Jensen Park. The area school was named for the towns first white settler.
All participants received free service berry seedlings.

Heritage Tree Program
Tree board members Leslie Larson was seeking nominations for the citys Heritage Tree Program, which is one way that residents can be sure their favorite trees wont be destroyed. Forms for nominating potential Heritage Trees seek information on the location, owner, type of tree, size and age, and reasons that it should be included in the program. The process for accepting trees includes reviewing the trees age and health and getting permission from the trees owners.
I think we should adopt Dr. Abdos monkey tree, Leslie Larson said. Its at a prime location right at the bottom of Olympic Hill.

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