Volunteers plant thousands of seedlings at 25th annual Reforest the Bluegrass in Lexington

Originally published by WEKU.

John Lhotka is a forestry professor at the University of Kentucky. He came to the 25th annual Reforest the Bluegrass with his 14-year-old daughter, Anna. He said the ground was soft from the previous days’ rains, which made planting the seedlings easier. Their goal: to plant an entire bucket-full – perhaps 50.

“It absolutely is a passion. Just my profession and it helps the environment and just I like the understanding about forests and reforestation and what it can do for us in the planet.”

An organizer estimated 500 volunteers planted about 7-thousand seedlings, 60 percent of which are expected to survive. Saturday’s mass planting took place near hundreds of mature trees that were planted during the first Reforest the Bluegrass.

Chris Barton is the president of Green Forests Work, the nonprofit that donated the seedlings, and a forestry professor at the University of Kentucky. He said trees do many good things.

“They actually help clean water clean our air, they provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. They help mitigate flooding, they shade, which can help with your electric bill if you’re in an urban environment.”

Barton said trees also take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it, which he called a way of mitigating climate change right now.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.