Posted by Roger Rollins on Apr 15, 2018
Note: This tree planting event has been CANCELLED because of bad weather (but will probably be rescheduled later). On Sunday April 15, 2018, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and Athens Sunrise Rotary will be planting trees along the banks of the Hocking River near the Columbus Road Hockhocking-Adena bikeway spur to help with stream bank reforesting efforts.  Also, Athens Rotary and Nelsonville Rotary have joined in support of this effort.
 
Athens Water Treatment plant director Shawn Beasley is implementing a management plan that identifies “no-mow” areas in the Athens wellfields along the Hocking River. This “no-mow” area is primed and ready to receive trees, to give this section a boost in successional reforesting.
The floodplain will be planted with approximately 900 trees during this event, including Hazelnut, Swamp Chestnut Oak, River Birch, Sycamore, and other trees, that are more tolerant to frequency flooding and wildlife grazing. 
Reforesting this section of the riparian corridor will be conducted in a multi-year plan starting downstream and working upstream towards the bikeway bridge that crosses the Hocking River. This section of the river is ever-changing and endures frequent flooding events, as witnessed over the past year.
Vegetated riparian corridors provide bank stability, habitat for wildlife, cooling shade, plus all the added benefits that trees provide naturally, like carbon sequestration, cleaner air, as well as being visually refreshing on the landscape.
 
Rotary International president Ian H.S. Riseley issued a challenge last year: for Rotarians to plant 1.2 million trees – one for every Rotarian in the world – between July 2017, when he took office as president of Rotary International, and Earth Day, April 22, 2018. The Rotary Clubs of Athens, Athens Sunrise, and Nelsonville are embracing that challenge and will be planting at least one tree for each member of the three clubs at this event.
Volunteers interested in helping with this event can meet at the Athens wellfield site, located past Little Fish at the end of Armitage Road and across the railroad tracks. (Note: April 15 date cancelled because of weather)  Planting will begin at 12:00 pm and will last until approximately 4:00 pm. Volunteers are encouraged to wear sturdy footwear and to bring water, work gloves, and a shovel if you have one.
 
Anyone interested in helping with this event can contact the Voinovich School’s Jen Bowman at bowmanj2@ohio.edu or call 740-597-3101.
 
    Most of the information in this story is from a press release by Jen Bowman forwarded to me by Pres. Mike Noel.