MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is proud to be the beneficiary of a grant that led to 75 trees planted at Devil’s Lake State Park on Arbor Day (April 29).
Devil’s Lake Climbing Guides received a $6,500 grant from Trees Forever and Alliant Energy’s Community Tree Program: One Million Trees Initiative to purchase and plant the trees at the park’s Quartzite and Northern Lights campgrounds and North Shore parking lot. The organization is a small, local guide service offering services on the quartzite bluffs and crags of Devil’s Lake State Park.
Devil’s Lake State Park staff identified key locations to plant the trees. This is the second year the DNR has worked with Devil’s Lake Climbing Guides and Heartwood Tree Company on an Arbor Day planting. The two partner groups coordinated about 25 people to plant the native hardwood trees made available through Johnson’s Nursery Inc.
“The department is very fortunate to have private donors and volunteers who are committed to supporting Wisconsin State Parks for all,” said Jim Carter, DNR Superintendent at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo. Parks staff will care for and manage the trees as they mature.
More than 9.3 million trees have been planted in Wisconsin since the governor committed to the Trillion Tree Pledge one year ago. In 2021, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #112, pledging to plant 75 million new trees in rural and urban areas and conserve 125,000 acres of forest in Wisconsin by 2030 in collaboration with public, private, and non-governmental partners. When fully realized, Wisconsin’s tree pledge will result in nearly 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide stored over the next 50 years.
According to the Trillion Tree Pledge annual report, of the 9.3 million trees planted in 2021, the DNR supplied more than half of the seedlings, including 2.7 million that were planted on private lands, 1.1 million that were planted on DNR lands, more than 500,000 that were planted in county forests, more than 42,000 that were planted in school forests, and over 45,000 that were given to elementary school students last Arbor Day. The DNR also distributed 31.4 million seeds, which will likely grow into approximately 3.5 million future trees.
In addition to planting trees and distributing seeds, the DNR acquired conservation easements on nearly 12,500 acres in Oneida County, while its partners conserved an additional 1,600 acres elsewhere, preventing the conversion of working forestland to other land uses.