BILLINGS — Wednesday is Arbor Day, a day created in 1872 to encourage planting trees to help beautify the surrounding community.
Every year in Billings, the Parks and Recreation Department puts on an Arbor Day event where they improve a local park. The parks department says that this year’s event wouldn’t have been possible without the help from volunteers.
Wednesday’s improvement was at North Park off Sixth Avenue North. Dozens of volunteers from businesses around Billings showed up to plant trees, lay mulch, paint park bathrooms and gazebos, tear out old horseshoe pits, and lay sod where needed.
“I think that so many times we say, why can’t Billings be better, why can’t we do more in Billings, and so these parks projects are only a small step towards that,” says Devin Wertman, a volunteer.
Megan Hoyer, another volunteer, says that beautifying the community by planting trees is very important so that our parks can be enjoyed for generations.
North Park was selected for this year's event because the city recently had to remove 15 trees because they were almost dead and could have become a danger.
Steve McConnell, the city forester, says trees are important because, “they sequester carbon, they produce oxygen, they provide habitat for wildlife, they’re just important. Some of the trees we planted today are pollinators that are important for bees and butterflies."
The parks department will also hold a fall Arbor Day event this fall on Sept. 23. This event will include education booths, lunch, and more tree planting.