Student Government students from Mayfield High School recently received hands-on learning from the City Community Forester when they participated in tree planting as part of a non-traditional education activity. (COVID safe practices were strictly adhered to such as wearing masks, social distancing, and groups of five or fewer.)
“I received a request from the students through their faculty sponsor to schedule a tree-planting project because they wanted to know how trees are planted,” said Jimmy Zabriskie, Community Forester. “It was perfect timing because now is the right season for planting trees in Las Cruces and what better way to learn than by doing.”
Two different small groups of students were taken to the City nursery and were taught how to select a healthy and appropriate tree for the chosen location. Students were then allowed to choose one of several Chinquapin Oaks (Quercus muehlenbergii) to plant.
“We lost some trees along with the Harty Field right of way to mite infestation this summer,” said Zabriskie. “The students were able to plant the young oaks to replace those dead trees. The planting went very well, and I was encouraged by the civic and environmental awareness of these kids,” Zabriskie added.
Zabriskie provided each participating student a packet of information concerning tree care and the Project Desert Canopy brochure that outlines key findings of the city’s tree canopy benefits. Project Desert Canopy was a research project conducted by the USDA Forest Service in 2017 and included Las Cruces as a municipal partner to assess Southwest green infrastructure.
The research focused on improving environmental health and community livability. The brochure can be found at https://azsf.az.gov/sites/default/files/files/forestry/ucf/Desert-Canopy-LCR-fact-sheet.pdf.