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Roseville Urban Forest Foundation hosts tree planting

Volunteers will plant willow trees, clean up area along Dry Creek
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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The Roseville Urban Forest Foundation wants to spruce up a riparian area along Dry Creek and they’re asking residents to pitch in.

Over the past decade or so, students at Adelante High School — which sits adjacent to the property — and other community members have periodically planted trees and bushes and kept the area clean.

But the land became overgrown and littered with trash, and sometimes transients take up residence there. The city recently cleared out much of the overgrown brush, which left a blank canvas.

“So we’re cleaning up and starting over,” said Katie Palatinus, who volunteers with the foundation and teaches science at Adelante.

The foundation will host a public clean-up and tree planting event in the area on Saturday. They’re working in conjunction with the city of Roseville, with plans to remove invasive vegetation and plant native flowers and trees. Adelante students will eventually create an interpretive trail.

“The goal is to shade the stream beds a little bit more. The fish like certain temperatures,” Palatinus said. “We’ll plant natives in the space that got cleared out to ensure erosion control and make sure non-natives don’t take over again.”

The foundation formed in 1993 and has nine active members and about 300 on its email list. They host plantings around Roseville once a month from November through March, said Program Manager Lani Houck, who also teaches in the agriculture department at Sierra College.

Scott Dietrich, an environmental engineer with the city's open space division, said the partnership between local government and the forest foundation is critical for completing work that might not otherwise be a priority for the city or may not have sufficient funding to complete.

“(City Manager) Ray Kerridge’s new outlook on things is to get the community involved,” Dietrich said.

Roseville also collaborates with the Dry Creek Conservancy and Adopt-a-Creek on various projects throughout the year. It’s a win-win for all groups involved, according to Houck.

“They have the expertise and staff we don’t have,” she said. “And we have expertise and volunteers.”

Roseville needs continued maintenance on creeks and open spaces as a result of increased urbanization, Dietrich said. With urbanization comes stormwater run-off, which funnels more water into creeks. This causes widening of creeks, which weakens the root system of trees along the bank. Sometimes, these trees then fall into the water.

The foundation and city will plant trees along Dry Creek to stabilize the soil and provide canopy coverage, cooling the water for improved salmon habitat.

“So it has double benefits,” Dietrich said.

He said they will plant about 60 willow stalks along the bank — this type of tree makes new roots and grows quickly, unlike oaks.

In a little nook near Dry Creek, where stormwater collects, there are several species of invasive plants, including the Tree-of-Heaven and small palm trees.

“The problem is they take away habitat from native plants,” Palatinus said.

The city has cleared out overgrown brush on the property because dense areas pose a fire hazard. Volunteers will plant flora to liven up the area.

“You don’t want it to look like a city park, but you want some open space,” Dietrich said. “It’s difficult to keep that balance.”

The goal is to improve the area and make it look nice for visitors. The foundation also wants to encourage residents to take part in maintaining Roseville’s natural spaces. Houck said her group has found that when people come out to a tree planting, they tend to come back again.

“When it looks better, people take care of it better,” Houck said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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Roseville Urban Forest Foundation public tree planting

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, March 10

Where: Meet at Adelante High School, 350 Atlantic St. in Roseville