Thanks to the Ten Free Trees program, an effort of the Nebraska Forest Service, and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Gibbon Public Schools received 10 trees for Spanish 4 students and Future Business Leaders of America Students to plant.
Rick Brown wrote and received the grant for trees. Spanish 4 students used this planting opportunity to kick off their focus on learning about trees and plants for the ‘Flavors and Foliage' grant that Spanish teacher Abby Jones earned. FBLA members helped plant the trees as part of their ‘Go Green’ initiative.
Despite providing a wide range of social, economic, and environmental benefits, most Nebraska community forests have been in steady and sometimes dramatic decline. Many challenges contribute, including extreme weather, insects, disease, and lack of diversity. The Emerald Ash borer is the latest major challenge added to the list.
In an effort to stop this decline and increase community forest resilience, the Free Trees program grants up to 10 high-quality trees for tree-related educational events and community celebrations promoting trees and fall planting.
In addition to simply planting more trees, the program goals include increasing appreciation and awareness of the value of community forests in Nebraska. Special emphasis is placed on species diversity and higher impact projects, especially street tree planting and in neighborhoods of highest need.
Ten Free Trees is supported by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s Trees for Nebraska Towns Initiative funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and a U.S. Forest Service Landscape Scale Restoration grant received by the Nebraska Forest Service.