Hello Kids,

It is the holiday season; time to take a break from school work and enjoy time with your family and friends, holiday parties, giving gifts…and receiving gifts too.

I believe that we have one of the greatest gifts available year-round in Northwest Arkansas; the gift of TREES. Miss Lauren recently wrote about the many benefits of trees for all living things. They are a gift to you and to me. I like trees so much I wrote a poem about them.

 Old gnarled treeThis wonderful tree has been around for a long time!

It lives in a natural area near Lake Wedington.


The Gift of Trees

Our watershed is filled with beautiful trees,

They are always changing as the seasons shift,

Growing tall and swaying with a summer breeze,

Trees are truly one of nature’s greatest gifts.


Good stewards taking responsibility,

Working together so trees are always here,

Join us at a tree planting activity,

And then we will have trees for hundreds more years!


Every year, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership gathers people together to plant trees.  Lots of trees!  When we plant trees, we are helping to protect our rivers and waterways.  You see, trees act as a “buffer” to our water.  Their roots help to prevent soil erosion and keep the land in place along our riverbanks.  Those roots also help to filter out contaminants that might otherwise wash into the river after it rains. We  call this a “Riparian Buffer” when we line the banks of rivers and streams with trees for this reason.

The Illinois River Watershed Partnership will be hosting our Riparian Project on Saturday, March 8, 2014. The Riparian Project is the name we give to this annual tree planting project.  People of all ages come to help plant trees along creeks and streams in several cities in our watershed.

I know that March is a long time from now, but I would like you to do the following activity. It is an invitation you can hang up to remind you and your parents to join us in March to plant some trees. (Locations and details on the Riparian Project will be posted on the IRWP website as we get nearer to the event date.)

Christmas Tree Outline

Tree Planting Invitation

You will need a sheet of paper (any color you like) and crayons or colored pencils for this activity.

1. Draw the outline of a Christmas tree in the center of the page.

2. Above the tree write: I CAN HELP

3. Below the tree write: Planting Trees For You And Me

4. Now color the tree and add decorations.

5. If you want to, draw some of the creatures that benefit from trees, like squirrels, raccoons,

beavers, birds, and people too.

6. Turn the paper over and write on the back: IRWP Riparian Project on Saturday, March 8, 2014

7. Hang it up so you can enjoy your artwork and remember to come and plant some trees.


 Cedar Tree Cedar Tree

I also wanted to share a picture of one of my favorite trees. She lives at Lake Fayetteville and every morning I walk by and say “Hello Beautiful”.


Wishing you a wonderful holiday with all the gifts that nature offers. Get outdoors and enjoy them today!