Volunteers plant trees at Seno Woodland Education Center

Lauren Deriaz and Greg Roberts work on planting a tree at the Seno Center in Wheatland Sunday.

It was a good day for tree planting at the Seno Woodland Education Center in Wheatland Sunday morning.

The center is a tree farm and an outdoors education facility, said Ron Rasmussen, president of the center’s board. In the course of a year, about 800 school children will come through for educational programs.

Lily Frenche sprays seedlings to keep them moist.

Getting children involved in the outdoors is a key part of the center’s mission.

“We don’t want this generation of children to be the last children in the woods,” Rasmussen said, paraphrasing the title of a well-known book about bringing nature to children.

Sunday, volunteers planting red oak, white oak and white pine in a field of sometimes stubborn soil had a variety of reasons for participating:

Lauren Deriaz, Tomena Scholze, Kelly Ostrenga and Greg Roberts are members of the Green Team, a Burlington High School club. The teens’ concern for the environment brought them out to Seno much as it did to form the team in the first place.

“We’re just trying to provide opportunities for people to help the environment and learn good practices,” said Deriaz, an organizer of the team along with Ostrenga.

Ken Lois, who planted trees Sunday along with his son Marcus, performs various duties to help out the center, where he hunts.

“They give us the privilege to hunt … so we come out and plant some trees out here,” Lois said. “If things get going, we should be able to hunt out here for a long time.”

Kristen Bird was planting trees with Terri Lazewski and Lily Frenche. Bird signed up at a environmental fair she helped organize for her employer. Sunday, she brought along family members to help.

Mike Bartelson, who planted with his son Evan, has a personal connection to Seno Center benefactor Dr. Shirley Peterson, who donated the Drumlin Farm portion of the center. For him, planting trees Sunday was a way of honoring this friend of his family.

“I love the land,” Bartelson said. “It’s nice to be outside.”

More information about the Seno Center is available at www.senocenter.org.

Ron Rasmussen explains to Tomena Scholze how to tell if a previously planted oak seedling is still viable.

Ken Lois, left, and Marcus Lois plant a seedling.

Ken Lois, left, and Marcus Lois plant a seedling.

Evan Bartelson holds a seedling steady while his dad, Mike Bartelson fills in a hole.


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