On Wednesday, September 8th, 2021, around 300 volunteers joined forces with the Fargo Park District and City of Fargo’s arborists to plant over 3800 trees and shrubs along the Red River near Pontes Park. Some of the volunteer groups included Bell Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Bolton & Menk, Boy Scouts of America, HDR, Houston Engineering, MSUM and NDSU students, Swanson Health, Ulteig, Xcel Energy, along with many Fargo-Moorhead community members. The volunteers dug holes 5-6 feet apart, planted trees, mulched around them, and finished each one off with a healthy dose of water. Most of the 3800 trees were two to three feet tall, but there were also about 150 six-foot trees among the mix.
The following Friday, September 10th, around 30 volunteers from the Fargo Microsoft staff and family members planted 75 more trees in Dike East Park in Fargo. This project was funded through the Arbor Day Foundation. One of the volunteers, Megan Han, is the Fargo campus’ Sustainability Lead. When asked why she was participating, she said “Microsoft’s mission statement is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft has also [made] huge commitments toward sustainability in four areas: carbon, water, waste, and ecosystems. Planting trees in our community gives back in these ways.”
Another Microsoft team member, Nick Geraghty, told River Keepers about the impact the new trees will have on the community. “It will help with flood prevention, add beauty to the park area, and homes for the local wildlife!” He also spoke about the community as a whole, in relation to the flooding. “This community has continually been impacted specifically by floods, and over the years that we’ve had significant floods, the Fargo-Moorhead community really rallys together to step up and do what’s needed…And it’s fun to be a part of that.”
All of the trees planted will act as a foundation for the river as they grow, using their strong roots systems to filter impurities out of the river, and keep the surrounding banks from eroding, during such events as floods that effect the F-M area annually. They will also provide homes for native species that live and hunt along the river, including birds, small mammals, and insects.
To get on the list to volunteer future Reforest the Red events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reforest the Red project partners are River Keepers, Fargo Park District, City of Fargo Forestry Department and Cass County Soil Conservation District.