Planting over 200 trees on ODOT land: 'They thrive in different habitats'

EUGENE, Ore. -- "This is a Ponderosa Pine, which is my favorite tree in the world," said Friends of Trees volunteer Stave Harig.

Harig was one 50 other volunteers planting trees on a stretch of unused Oregon Dept. of Transportation land Saturday between Roosevelt Blvd. and the Beltline Highway.

Rik Burke of Friends of Trees says ODOT intended to build on-and-off ramps in the space.

"It really is wetlands," Burke says. "It has a really high water table."

To help retain part of the land's natural look and feel, Friends of trees partnered with ODOT to plant over 217 native trees and shrubs in the area.

Burke says they planted several different types of trees: Willamette Valley ponderosa pine, California black oak, Oregon white oak, Oregon ash and even giant sequoia.

"They each take a different role in the ecosystem and in the environment," Harig says. "They all thrive in different habitats."

Burke says in ten years he envisions the site being home to new plant-life, insects and birds.

To the west is the wetlands complex. Just south is Amazon Creek. East of the Beltline, is the Roosevelt channel of Amazon Creek.

"It really is a nice mix of residential, industrial and set aside park-like land."

Friends of Trees partnered with Alice C. Tyler Perpetual Trust and Mountain Rose Herbs to bring this event to Eugene.