Groups plant dozens of trees at Devil’s Lake State Park for Arbor Day

BARABOO, Wis. — Local businesses got together on Friday to plant dozens of trees at Devil’s Lake State Park for Arbor Day.

Mature shade trees in several areas of the park have been hit hard by years of disease and storms, according to a news release from Devil’s Lake Climbing Guides. The Arbor Day planting was a volunteer effort from around 40 staff and client volunteers who share a passion and appreciation for the park.

“Every time you plant a tree, you’re investing in the future, both for people and the greater ecosystem,” John Joutras, an arborist with the Hartwood Tree Company, said, “so these trees are going to provide some great shade for the campers. They’re also going to provide some habitat for native birds (and) even some insects that eat on the foliage.”

The effort marks the groups’ second year planting trees at Devil’s Lake. It also helps provide another successive group of trees growing so that as mature trees fall or succumb to disease, more trees are ready to take their place and provide shade for visitors, he added.

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The new trees are native varieties like white oak, ironwood, swamp white oak, hybrid elm, linden and Kentucky coffee. Alliant Energy provided a $5,000 grant toward the effort.

In total, volunteers planted around 80 trees.