MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — For residents of the greater Mankato area, finding a quiet oasis in nature isn’t very hard.
Pockets of wooded areas are scattered all over the community, part of why Mankato has been a member of Tree City USA for 24 years.
“We have to have a tree board or a dedicated tree personnel, it looks at the expenses per capita that we spend on tree care in the city and recognizing Arbor Day like we did today,” Mankato natural resources specialist Justin Lundborg said.
The City of Mankato held a poster contest leading up to Arbor Day and Loyola 5th grader Julia Campeau beat 165 other students. Today she assisted city staff in planting a Red Oak at Busher Park.
“They help us breathe, and we use them for a lot of things like paper and pencils and building houses,” Campeau said.
In addition to the dozens of woodlands and nature areas across Mankato, city staff manages over 16,000 trees in city parks and boulevards.
Friday marks 149 years since Arbor Day was first recognized. Mankato City Council proclaimed May as Arbor Month in a meeting this week, and is calling on residents to get involved.
“Plant a tree. It’s as easy as that. Everyone benefits from trees. Wherever you can plant one, no matter how big, just planting a tree to help the next generation,” Lundborg said.