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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Almost 200 volunteers plant trees at Blackbird State Forest near Smyrna

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  • Volunteers planted a mixture of oak and pine seedlings at Blackbird State Forest on Saturday and Sunday.
    Almost 200 volunteers donated over 440 service hours as part of a conservation project to plant 4,000 oak and pine tree seedlings on a 10-acre parcel of Blackbird State Forest on Saturday and Sunday, April 7, according to a Delaware Forest Service news release.
    Taking advantage of the somewhat seasonable spring weather, 194 volunteers from the Smyrna area – which included 84 adults and 110 youths from local Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops – spent the better part of two days to complete the effort. Many of the young people satisfied requirements for various conservation awards and rank advancement in their scouting programs with the project.
    State Forestry Administrator Michael A. Valenti, who has also been actively involved with the Boy Scouts for many years, said in the release he was pleased with the two-day effort: "Everyone had a great time, nothing but smiles all around and the satisfaction of having contributed to a worthwhile project."
    During a similar planting project in 2012, a total of 73 youths and 49 adult volunteers planted 4,000 oak seedlings on a 10-acre planting site. To date, forestry officials estimate that over 90 percent of the trees have survived.
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