Volunteers sought to plant trees April 20
In celebration of Earth Day, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is inviting volunteers to help plant 2,500 trees in an area that was ravaged by a fire in the spring of 2011.
According to spokesperson Lori Cook, the BLM Colorado River District and Yuma Field Office personnel will be hosting a volunteer tree-planting opportunity from 8 a.m. to noon April 20 in an ongoing restoration site adjacent to the Betty's Kitchen Watchable Wildlife Area.
Betty's Kitchen, which has been temporarily closed the past two years, is located approximately eight miles northeast of Yuma. The 751-acre Laguna Fire destroyed valuable marsh and riparian habitat, while also destroying the Betty's Kitchen Recreation Area. Since the fire in May 2011, the native seed has been allowed to germinate, invasive species have been cleared, and holes have been drilled in preparation for the tree planting.
“We have had several tree plantings since the Laguna Fire,” Cook said. “It's good practice for green thumbs. The more people who come out, the more trees we can get planted.”
Those wishing to participate are asked to meet at the Betty's Kitchen parking lot. If you are coming from downtown Yuma, take U.S. Highway 95 east, turn left on Avenue 7E, and continue on the paved road for seven miles.
When the road turns into dirt, travel approximately ¼-mile and turn left at the Betty's Kitchen sign. The parking lot is approximately 50 yards on your left.
Volunteers will be planting 2,500 lower Colorado River cottonwood trees. Cook said the BLM will have employees digging the holes for the trees on Friday, so all volunteers will need to do is the planting.
“Basically it is just putting the tree trunk into the hole and covering it back up,” Cook said.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, hats, long pants, closed-toe shoes or boots, and gloves.