In preparation for its 100th birthday May 5, Orem is planting 100 trees at parks around the city.

City employees and volunteers gathered early Wednesday morning at Springwater Park in Orem to plant seven trees in the park including bald cypress and spring snow crabapple trees before heading to Windsor Park to plant two more trees.

By the time the crews were done Wednesday, a total of 28 of the 100 trees were planted throughout the city. The other trees have been planted at Geneva Park, Northridge Park and Foothill Park, while the remainder of the centennial trees will be planted at other Orem parks including Sharon Park, Lakeside Park, Scera Park and Cherry Hill Park.

City arborist Josh Story said he and his two seasonal employees typically plant about 40 to 50 trees each summer, replacing dead ones while also trying to increase their total number by a few. This is the most trees they’ve planted in one season before. With the uptick in tree plantings this year, Story said he’s appreciated all the volunteers who have been helping with the manual labor of back filling once the trees are planted.

Trees help lower stress levels, and bring a general happiness to those around them, making it important for a city to have them, Story said.

“People may not notice (trees) much in their day to day lives, but if they were missing, they’d definitely notice it,” Story said.

The kickoff for Orem’s Centennial celebration was held in January, and events are planned throughout the year to celebrate.

This particular project is part of a partnership with Ivory Homes, which provided the trees. Ivory Homes has committed to planting 30,000 trees around the state of Utah, and Orem’s 100 trees were among the 20,000 trees in that project gifted to local communities, while 10,000 more trees will be planted in new and existing Ivory Homes’ communities.

Since last fall, more than 3,600 trees have been planted throughout the state because of the initiative, said Emmeline Hoover, who coordinates the project for Ivory Homes. Hoover said the project focuses on putting trees in public spaces where many people can enjoy them, and feedback about where to plant more trees can be entered at http://ivoryhomes.com/green.

Anyone interested in helping plant the remaining trees in Orem can sign up as volunteers at http://justserve.org. Volunteers need to be able to commit to three to six hours to help plant and stake the trees as well as remove nearby weeds and debris. Photos of volunteers are taken with the trees to keep a record for the future, according to Laura Bascom, volunteer coordinator for the project.

The photos and locations for the planted trees will be compiled into an online map, Bascom said, so that people can see where the centennial trees are planted, or even plan a family bike ride to the different locations.

“That’s why they’re scattered throughout the city, a few trees at each park,” Bascom said.

Katie England covers local government, the environment and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

Katie England covers politics, county government and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!