The McKinney Society and Watchers of the Forest will sponsor another McKinney tree-planting day on Friday, March 31 and those who would like to participate have until March 29 to sign up.

This year’s planting will cover all of McKinney, unlike past plantings, which have been confined to a block or so.

Angela Nelson, one of the organizers of the event, explains that “it is hard to get the minimum requirement of 40 trees in a compact area because McKinney has had so many compact plantings in the past. If this ‘spread-out’ planting is successful, however, the McKinney Society and Watchers of the Forest may allow other such plantings in the future”.

At the end of March, the count for last fall’s planting was up to 60 trees, as enthusiastic residents jumped on the bandwagon. The Society’ charge ($230) is half that of a contractor’s and includes sidewalk cutting and removal, the tree, stakes, ties, watering tubes, and the organization’s expert advice on species selection and maintenance.

Over the past several years, McKinney Society and Watchers of the Forest have sponsored hundreds of sidewalk tree plantings in the neighborhood. “They have made a huge difference in the appearance of our streets”, says Nelson. “Trees reduce the harshness of concrete, provide shade and privacy, and create a relaxing and beautiful environment. They also contribute to a healthier environment by providing oxygen and reducing pollution”.

But best of all, she adds, is that “the plantings are a community effort, bringing people in the neighborhood together. After we all plant our trees, we have a potluck lunch to celebrate and to thank the volunteers from both organizations”.

Two pre-planting meetings have been scheduled for Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 at 6 p.m. in the McKinney Recreation Center.