by Marilyn Loser
2019 February 20
The Alamosa City Department of Parks and Recreation (ACDPR) and the Tree Board procured two tree grants for 2019. A non-matching Xcel Energy Foundation/Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) grant will provide $6,000 to enhance the Alamosa Cemetery entryway. A CTC matching grant will provide $1,500 and Alamosa will chip in another $3,000 ($1,500 over the needed match amount).
We hope to plant many of the trees during Alamosa’s 2019 Arbor Week tentatively scheduled for the first week in May. As we firm up the planting schedule we’ll be reaching out to community members to help us plant.
Xcel/CTC grant: The developed portion of the Alamosa Cemetery sits about ¼ mile off of State Ave., the main artery from the airport to downtown Alamosa. A number of years ago spruce trees were planted on both sides of Cemetery Rd. along ¾ of the entry length. The trees draw the visitors’ eyes away from the barren fields on either side of the road.
During Arbor Week in 2013 more than 50 Boy Scouts and families, citizens, Tree Board members, and City personnel helped dig fresh water basins around the nearly 50 trees and re-mulch them. We will enhance the rows of trees that provide a formal entrance corridor to the cemetery.
The cemetery is visited year round. Besides coming to visit the graves of loved ones, Alamosans come to walk, jog, and ride bikes in beauty and tranquility.
The funded project will replace some trees, extend the plantings along the entire length of the entryway, and replace the aging irrigation system. We like the idea of an evergreen entrance (we have long winters and the evergreen trees add a welcome color note) and will plant about 32 trees selecting from a variety of species such as Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa), Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum), Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra), and Spruce (Picea pungens).
CTC grant: We will plant 12 trees and many small shrubs in the vicinity of the new Alamosa multiuse pavilion/ice rink and 2 trees in the new Peyton’s Play Ball Park to the east of the Alamosa Recreation Center. A new parking lot expansion is going in south of the current recreation center lot. In this southern part of Alamosa there is little plant life so the new trees and shrubs will provide eye appeal and a much needed wind break. The plan is to reduce wind for those using facilities and increase parking shade. Also, ACDPR Superintendent Jeremey Arellano has collected two hills of sand over the years from clearing off the recreation center parking lot – it would be great if trees could reduce the need for so much dirt removal in the future.
Two trees on the south side of Peyton’s Park will help shade children and attending adults. The park is named in honor of local youth Peyton Sanchez who, in spite of health challenges, has undertaken fund-raising activities for the last 4 years. I love the sign in the park that says, “Kids Rule! Have Fun! Play Safely! Watch Out for Each Other! Laugh a Lot!”
Trees appropriate for Alamosa will be planted: 2 New Horizon elms (Ulmus ‘New Horizon’), 2 Colorado Blue spruce, 2 Autumn blaze maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’), 2 lance leaf (Populus x acuminate) or narrowleaf cottonwood (Populus angustifolia), 2 honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos inermis), and 2 hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).
In addition, a number of shrub seedlings will be ordered from the Colorado State Forest service. There will be a variety of species depending on availability. Shrub species may include lilac (Syringa), pea shrub (Caragana), cotoneaster (Cotoneaster), junipers (Juniperus), and/or currants (Grossulariaceae).
City funding will provide drip line irrigation as well as protective fencing and staking.
For more information on selected tree species, please visit AlamosaTrees.net. As always, this is a local website and doesn’t have any advertisements.
“Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven't done a thing. You are just talking." Wangari Maathai