INDIANA – As part of the Indiana Tree Project, volunteers from Clif Bar joined staff from the INRF and the Division of Forestry to plant 3,000 trees in Greene-Sullivan State Forest earlier this month.
Clif Bar started supporting the Indiana Tree Project in 2019.
This year’s tree planting marks the fourth time the group from Indianapolis has ventured south to help grow Indiana’s forests.
The group had plenty of energy and excitement despite the cold November weather. After a tree planting lesson from Forestry staff, they made quick work of creating a lasting impact on Indiana’s public lands.
“It was fun to get our hands in the ground and plant the trees,” said Emilija Grinvalds, packaging planner at Clif Bar. “We planted hope, and now we get to look forward to the future of this land.”
While Indiana Tree Project volunteers make an important contribution to our natural spaces, the groups also get to spend quality time with one another outside of their normal work environment.
“Getting to make an impact alongside colleagues was great,” Grinvalds said. “We’ve had a lack of face-to-face time since the pandemic, so this was a special experience.”
The volunteers planted an assortment of white and red oaks across the tree-planting site. The one-year-old seedlings will play an important part in the ecosystem. Mature oak trees sequester large amounts of carbon and help improve the air, soil, and water quality of the area. In addition, the young forest will provide vital habitat for numerous wildlife species and insects.
“Oaks are an important tree species in Eastern forests,” said Phil Jones, a forester at Morgan-Monroe State Forest. “They play a major part in healthy habitat throughout the state.”
After eating a much-needed warm lunch, the volunteers from Clif Bar had an opportunity to learn more about the area from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff. As they looked over a sprawling lake lined with cabins, the group was fascinated to hear about the history of coal mining in the area.
Greene-Sullivan State Forest was established in 1936 after DNR received the property from various coal companies. Now the area is home to one of the most distinctive landscapes in the state. The property comprises more than 9,000 acres of woodland alongside more than 120 lakes, offering numerous hunting, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
The tree planting marked the fourth and final Indiana Tree Project event of a busy 2022. Overall, the events helped the Division of Forestry add more than 11,000 trees to Indiana’s forests and created countless memories on the state’s public lands.
Our work is made possible by the generosity of our donors and partners. This holiday season, consider investing in Hoosier conservation by donating to the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. Every gift helps us protect and preserve Indiana’s natural legacy through the support of the Indiana DNR and its programs.
Information: Indiana Natural Resources Foundation