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Danville Parks and Recreation is partnering with Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) to start a tree adoption program in the neighborhood park system. Residents are invited to take an active role in making park improvements by planting and caring for young trees. Danville Parks and Recreation and DRBA staff will be present for the kickoff event at Grove Park and will provide instruction for planting and ongoing care. Participants will also be able to paint river rocks with their name or the name of the tree to keep with the tree at the park.
The tree adoption program began last summer with a poplar tree sapling that was donated by Plant Virginia Natives. Danville Parks and Recreation staff planted it in Grove Park where several trees had been lost in previous years. They gave the tree a name—Philippe—and watered it often as it established roots throughout the season. A nearby resident, Ken Gillie, saw the new addition to the park and took on the tree watering responsibility himself. Ken carried gallons of water around the block to the park on his nightly walks, took pictures of the tree, and updated Danville Parks and Recreation staff on how it was growing.
“Ken’s care of Philippe is a great model of citizen ownership of park spaces, and one we would love to replicate with more residents,” said Facilities and Services Planner, Dr. Stephanie Lovely. “We are happy to bring more people into the parks, connecting them in meaningful ways to their neighborhood environment. We hope to see individuals and families embracing this opportunity and sharing their own tree success stories with our community.”
The tree planting kickoff event will take place in Grove Park on Wednesday, April 27, at 3 p.m. and there is no fee to participate. Care for the trees will be ongoing throughout the spring and summer. To sign up for tree adoptions or to get more information, contact Dr. Stephanie Lovely at (434) 799-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.