Helena, Central Elementary celebrate Arbor Day with historic planting re-enactment

Nolan Lister

Central Elementary School third-grader Kamron Jones triumphantly waved two of the bright pink marking flags Helena Open Lands staff placed to designate sites for 150 ponderosa pine seedlings to be planted in the burn area on the northeast face of Mount Helena Friday as part of the city’s annual Arbor Day celebration.

Kamron and his friend and classmate Noah Riverman choose adjacent sites to plant their trees. The pair called them “buddy trees.”

Helena Open Lands Manager Brad Langsather said the planting sites were chosen for the afternoon shade they provide to the seedlings, and that some of the larger stumps left behind by trees burned in the August fire provided enough shade for two seedlings.

“The friends have been planting their trees together,” Langsather said.

Following their success, Kamron and Noah scampered across the still-scorched mountainside, gradually greening with spring, to join another friend and check on his tree.

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A pack of Central Elementary School third grade students, teachers and volunteers trek up a Mount Helena trail Friday to plant trees as

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