Trees can do plenty of good, environmentally, economically, and even emotionally. All it takes is someone to plant, trim, and maintain them.

For Arbor Day and Earth Day, the Student Conservation Association partnered with CommuniTree to plant about 500 trees around Northwest Indiana. That effort kicked off Saturday with a blitz planting of trees at Three Rivers County Park.

“We’re trying to increase the green canopy,” said Sam Vergara, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana program manager for the Student Conservation Association.

These new trees, Vergara explained, help in carbon sequestering, the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, from air to soil. All living things need carbon dioxide, and this process combats greenhouse gases from nearby industries.

Also, Vergara said, because of their proximity to the busy roadway, the trees will provide a natural buffer and catch water runoff.

Tree plantings attract local volunteers, including students. Hope Stone, 19, an environmental science major at Indiana University Northwest, said “This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. These trees can live up to 1,000 years. To be part of this, it’s pretty cool.”

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