In 2011, Gladbrook Trees Forever (GTF) built on their tradition of youth involvement in tree planting and care activities. GTF members participated in Trees Forever’s youth involvement training in the spring and carried out a number of projects involving youth throughout the year. In the spring, Boy Scout Troop 327 planted arborvitae trees at the home of a local senior citizen and the Peace United Church of Christ Youth Fellowship planted a Japanese tree lilac at the parsonage.
Due to GTF support for youth projects, Gladbrook-Reinbeck (G-R) High School Renovation Club requested assistance with their planting ideas. In November, GTF helped the student group plant a red oak tree at City Park. The project was chaired by G-R High School Senior Claire Reinhard, who had attended several GTF meetings and persuaded the Renovation Club members and sponsor, G-R Science Instructor Mr. Boheman, to plant a tree. After a brief ceremony and planting instructions by GTF, five members of the Renovation Club planted, watered and mulched the tree. GTF members shared educational materials on Emerald Ash Borer and proper tree planting and maintenance. The event was covered by the Northern Sun Print newspaper
. The Renovation Club plans to help Gladbrook Trees Forever plant trees in 2012 at the storm-damaged Union Grove State Park.
Though the projects were relatively small, they are great examples of student leadership, commitment and volunteerism. In 2012, GTF plans to continue involving youth, including the Boy Scouts and the Renovation Club, in its projects. They are also helping the Gladbrook Slow Pitch softball league to plan a planting at their field with athletes and parents. GTF has made great strides with its youth involvement and anticipates many successful youth projects in the future!