WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Thursday, students from Wichita Southeast High School uprooted and planted hundreds of trees as part of a belated Arbor Day celebration.
Nearly 700 new trees will soon call Alice Wall Memorial Park home. The park is 12.5 acres and sits along the west edge of the Wichita-Valley Center floodway at 47th Street and Hoover.
The Wichita Park & Recreation Urban Forestry team partnered with 80 students from Southeast, overseeing their work and sharing tips on how to plant and maintain trees in Wichita.
“We’ve had a lot of tree loss through the years with all the building and different things. Trees: They get old and die over time, so it’s important that we replant trees. It’s going to be great for our environment. It’s going to be great for our community that uses the parks,” said Joanna Farmer, the agriculture teacher at Southeast High.
All 700 trees were grown in the forestry division’s nursery and consisted of 12 different tree species, mainly consisting of different types of oaks and bald cypress trees, which “fare well in Wichita.” According to the City of Wichita, bald cypress trees can live up to 600 years, and oak trees can live for 100-300 years.
“Expanding the city’s tree canopy on public land is part of the City’s proposed tree policy, which also encourages residents and businesses to plant trees on their property,” said the City of Wichita.
Farmer says the students will plant seeds in the spring so they can grow their own trees to plant in parks throughout the city in the coming years, adding to the tree canopy, which has diminished in recent years.
“Starting this spring, we’ll start planting trees from seed and growing them for the city, so we’ll actually start at the very beginning and work our way through with the kids,” said Farmer.