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Extension Agent’s Love for Trees Grows Beyond Arbor Day

WHEELING — You may have noticed trees with white mesh trunk collars around our neighborhood parks and at Heritage Port.

Our Ohio County WVU Extension Agent is Karen Cox, who loves trees. With state grant money, in 2019, 52 families and Master Gardeners planted and continue to care for approximately 140 trees throughout Wheeling. Says Karen, “Trees give us fresh air, absorb CO2, stabilize the soil, provide shade, ‘air conditioning’ and shield against cold winds for our homes.”

In conjunction with the mayor’s office, the WVU Extension Service has formed the Wheeling City Tree Board in order to increase the tree canopy over the streets of Wheeling and environs. Those on the board are: Karen Cox, Vice Mayor Chad Thalman, Wheeling Parks Commissioner Ryan Wilson, Steve Johnston of City Operations, arborist Kevin Stingle, Karen Jaunsen, Chris Helminski, Andrew Colemen, Master Gardeners John Byrd and Mary Suhler, and, from the Division of Forestry Advisors, Bob Hannah and Sam Adams. If you are interested in planting trees for our community, contact:

treeboard@wheelingwv.gov.

Children’s love of trees and all plants — especially native plants — is encouraged by the Extension Service and the Arbor Day Foundation. This ongoing project begins in Elm Grove and Woodsdale elementary schools; and Bridge Street, Triadelphia and Warwood middle schools where children will plant trees on school grounds. Master Gardeners and community volunteers will assist students in learning how to identify and care for the right trees to plant in the right site.

Karen is also coordinating a project to encourage all fourth and fifth graders from all venues to enter the 2021 West Virginia Arbor Day Poster contest by May 3. (See https://wvforestry.com/arbor-day-in-schools.)

(Editor’s Note: Many states celebrate Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year. West Virginia celebrates Arbor Day on the second Friday in April. National Arbor Day is celebrated on April 30. The Wheeling Municipal Tree Board and nature lovers near and far work to promote proper tree care in their communities on a year-round basis).

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