Hot Sulphur Springs tree program gets growing
Hot Sulphur Springs’ new tree program takes root on Saturday, May 16, with seedlings from the Colorado State Forest Service being made available free of charge to the town’s residents.
The seedling sendoff will be from 10 a.m. until noon at the HSS Community Garden in Town Park near the tennis courts and water treatment plant.
Several varieties of conifers are among the selections, as well as deciduous seedlings like cottonwood and aspen. The limit is two trees per resident, although heartfelt appeals for more will be considered. Bring a bucket to take home a load of good planting soil.
The tree program was created earlier this year by the HSS Board of Trustees as an ongoing conservation project to promote tree planting in the town for not only aesthetics but also for restoration of trees lost to disease and age, wind and snow protection, shelter for homes, erosion control, and advancing clean air and water conservation.
After proposing the plan, Trustee Richard Johnson was appointed manager of the project with a first-year budget of $500.
“There are a number of areas in the town that look barren,” he said of his reason for introducing the measure, “so I thought one way of helping residents spruce things up as well as promoting conservation would be to start an ongoing, town-centered tree program to make seedlings and young trees available on a cost-free basis. Residents of more verdant neighbors also may pick up seedlings.”
Johnson said the intent of the program is to establish a permanent town nursery that would allow the plants to mature over two or three season before they are distributed.
“The older the plants, the better chance they have of surviving,” he said. He is starting with an allotment of some 120 trees from the Colorado State Forest Service through the Middle Park Conservation District.
“The purpose is to get a nursery going that will offer a healthy, three-year-old sapling. But if people want to nurture a seedling from the get-go, well, we’ve got seedlings for them,” Johnson said.
Grand County Community Gardens provided the town two 4×16-foot raised beds for the project’s first two seasons.
“We’re grateful for that, because it took the pressure off finding a home for my seedlings on short notice this spring,” he said.
Johnson said he’s scouting the town’s public areas where a permanent nursery might be located. He can be reached through the Town Hall at 970-725-3933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.