Despite the cold and snow this past Saturday, over 80 enthusiastic volunteers turned out for The Tool Library’s tree planting in Dewey Park. 100 trees were added to the Masten District park over the course of two hours.

As with many parks and greenspaces across the city, Dewey Park has lost a significant portion of its tree canopy to disease and pests like the Emerald Ash Borer. This planting will add 50 new ornamental trees and 50 new shade trees to the park and surrounding areas.

Species planted include: Valley Forge American Elm, Swamp White Oak, Bloodgood London Plane, Northern Catalpa, Tulip Tree, Autumn Blaze Maple, Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, White Flower Redbud, and Crab Apple.

“Tree planting for us has become a way to meet our neighbors, to work together towards common solutions, and to collectively improve the spaces we share” said Darren Cotton, Tool Library volunteer and board member. This 100 tree planting was made possible through a generous donation of a local tech startup founder turned lorax with refreshments provided by Great Lakes Coffee Roasters.

The Tool Library will also be hosting a series of service events and workshops in the spring focused on tree stewardship. Maintenance, especially in the first two years of a tree’s life, is critical to increasing survivorship rates of volunteer plantings. Events will train volunteers on basic pruning, as well as attaching and filling the all important slow release watering bags.

Started in 2014, ReTree the District is an offshoot of Re-Tree WNY led by The Tool Library and has focused primarily on Buffalo’s University and Masten Districts. To date, more than 1,400 trees have been planted by over 2,000 volunteers, which, according to the City of Buffalo’s Open Data Portal, accounts for roughly 13% of University District’s total tree canopy.

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photos are from the tool library archives during the 2021 planting at Dewy Park.