LA GRANDE – La Grande Parks and Recreation are continuing to expand and improve the Riverside Park Greenway Trail. As part of this effort, the urban forestry division recently oversaw the planting of over fifty native and trees and shrubs along the greenway according to Urban Forester Teresa Gustafson. Among the species planted were ponderosa pine, Oregon hawthorn, ninebark, elderberry and western juniper. The plan is for the trees and shrubs to both provide a natural privacy screen between the trail and nearby properties in addition to providing a habitat for local wildlife.
The plants were purchased from the Plant Works nursery in Cove and planted by volunteers from the La Grande Forestry Commission, Grow La Grande, as well as other community members. Cages have been installed for the time being to protect the young plants from deer and elk and wood chip mulch has been spread to help conserve water during the summer months.
The plantings coincide with a planned expansion and redevelopment of the Greenway trail. According to Gustafson, a roughly 400ft section of the trail will be reconstructed alongside a further 1200ft extension. Even more trees and shrubs will be planted once the expansion is completed.