Volunteers needed for tree planting project in Raton

By Kimberly Adams<br />Staff writer

RATON – The GrowRaton! Beautification and Pride Task Force needs volunteers this weekend (June 20-21) at 9 a.m. to help plant trees on Park Ave. between First and Second Streets in downtown Raton.

A dozen trees such as Hackberry, Honey Locust and Ash trees will be planted, project coordinator David Stafford explained. Shrubs that are also getting planted include Catmint, Cinquefoil and Russian Sage. “We will be planting on both sides of the street,” Stafford said.

The New Mexico State Forestry department gave GrowRaton! a $5,300 grant under its Re-Leaf program. The non-profit organization is working with Colfax County which is overseeing the grant.

In 2013, the GrowRaton! Beautification and Pride Task Force received a $6,000 grant for a similar downtown planting project along Park Ave. between Second and Third Streets, but some of the plants were severely damaged last summer.

“Heavy rains last summer triggered runoff that flooded those plantings, washing out mulch and stressing the plants,” Stafford said. “Volunteers have reinforced wooden borders around the planting beds to reduce the impact of future runoff.”

Safford hopes this year will go better for the plants. Volunteers who participate are asked to bring their own tools — including shovels, trowels, watering cans and root saws — in addition to water, sunscreen, hats and gloves.

For more information, visit the GrowRaton! website at <a href=”http://www.growraton.org”>www.growraton.org</a>, or email to <a href=”mailto:growraton@ratonnm.us”>growraton@ratonnm.us</a> or call Stafford at 575-445-3673.