A small pine got to work this week on its 30-year job to eliminate 800 pounds of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Planted near the tennis courts at Round Lake Park, the four-foot tree is one of many new trees to replace hundreds of trees falling victim to the emerald ash borer in Eden Prairie and throughout the state.
Twenty-five trees in Eden Prairie were identified as being infested with the emerald ash borer in 2017, Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case said Sept. 20 at a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) event at Round Lake Park.
Mitigation efforts have slowed, but not stopped, the spread. By 2020, that number was 759 trees.
In Eden Prairie, 1,000 new trees have been planted since 2017, Case said. In addition, the city is treating more than 1,000 trees against the ash borer and private property owners are treating another 1,000-plus trees through a local company that provides discounted treatments.
Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen joined Case, State Rep. Rick Hansen and others at the Round Lake pavilion to raise awareness of efforts to save Minnesota’s one billion ash trees – more than any other state – that are threatened by the ash borer, as well as planting climate-resilient trees.
Thanks to state funding to help municipalities fight the spread of the ash borer through tree treatments and replanting with insect- and climate-resistant varieties, 68 grants have been awarded to communities in Minnesota, according to Strommen.
The event kicked off Climate Week, highlighting the power of a healthy tree canopy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A changing climate is a threat to Minnesota’s ecosystem, the economy and general well-being, Strommen said. Trees do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to removing pollutants from the air.
“Today we’re focusing on the power of trees in Minnesota,” Strommen said. “Our trees are hard at work.”
Round Lake Park is one of the grant-funded projects to help reforestation efforts to diversify the tree canopy.
Learn more about the emerald ash borer and the City of Eden Prairie’s treatment program here.
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