Parkersburg going green on Earth Day - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parkersburg going green on Earth Day

by John Wilmer

PARKERSBURG (KWWL) -- This Earth Day a group of college students is working to put back what mother nature took away. On Wednesday more than a dozen horticultural students and instructors from Hawkeye Community College planted dozens of trees on Parkersburg's south side.

The landscape on the city's south side doesn't look like Iowa at all, more like a desert. The only trees left standing after the EF5 tornado ripped through town were damaged beyond repair. 

"What trees were here were really mangled and needed to be cut down or they were cut out just to be able to get people out of here.  It's nice to be able to see that there is some new life that's coming in," volunteer Paula Hundley said.

Now more than a dozen eager Hawkeye Community College students are working to make this town a little bit greener.

"This is Earth Day and because it is Horticultural Department we are green people and to actually come out here and help green up this community it just fantastic," volunteer Becky Stansbery said.

Dan Lichty, an instructor at Hawkeye, brought a group of his students to Parkersburg just days after the tornado struck; now he's back to help with the finishing touches.

"We actually planting 37 trees and then we're leaving so many around 20 for home owners that wanted to plant the trees themselves," Lichty said.

Lichty also says families coming together to plant one of these trees can be a healing process for every one.

"Probably on young kids and stuff it was probably a lot harder on them than a lot of us think. When they get to go out and do this and if they're real young like four or five-years-old and 13 or 14 years later just think what the trees will be when they go to graduate," Lichty said.

"it will be a legacy for the children to come years from now for generations there is just something about trees in a community that make it home," Stansbery said.

To have the trees planted it only cost people ten dollars. Joyce Dickes, a community member, raised most of the money for this through t-shirt sales. The money raised went to pay for a good portion of the trees as well as other supplies. 

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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