‘Great Tree Canopy Comeback’ will be Oct. 20; volunteers needed

Friends of the Parks of Allen County invites citizens to partner with area parks departments, businesses, neighborhoods, and community volunteers to plant new trees in parks and public spaces during the 17th annual Great Tree Canopy Comeback on Saturday, Oct. 20.

After planting over 2,500 trees across multiple parks since its inception, the GTCC has accomplished its original goal. This event will be evolving to include invasive species removal to sustainably continue forest regeneration in all parks around Allen County. To combat invasive species like Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive and Callery Pear, among others, this year’s event will include groups of five people planting trees; “Tree Captains” to lead groups of “Planters”; “Cutters” to remove invasive plants; and “Couriers” to transport the debris to a designated disposal area.

Volunteers of all ages are encouraged to sign up. More than 200 trees will be planted at Franke, Vesey and Justin Study parks in Fort Wayne, along with Klotz Park in New Haven and Fox Island County Park. Volunteers are asked to register in advance by emailing FotPoAC@gmail.com, or download the signup form at www.facebook.com/yeaparks and mail it to P.O. Box 10152. Volunteers need to bring gloves, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow (if possible). Participants should also dress for the weather, as the work will be completed rain or shine.

The event was established in 2001 to combat the critical loss of trees in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Over the last 50 years, area parks have lost over half of the tree canopy due to weather and disease.