Boy Scouts and their supporters planted 60 evergreen trees (emerald green arborvitae and Leyland cypress) at ‘A Park Above’ on Saturday to create a living windbreak that will reduce the impact of wind and blowing sand at the park site when it opens.
Assisting Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department staff with the tree-planting was Boy Scout Connor Haines and approximately 35 volunteers he recruited. Participating in the project is helping Haines achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
Haines, 15, will be a sophomore at Rio Rancho High School.
“There were a lot more people who turned out than I expected,” he said.
Haines said participants showed up about 7 a.m. — 6 in his case — and finished just after noon. He hopes to attain his Eagle Scout rank by the end of the year.
Funding for the project came via a $4,900 Forest Re-Leaf Grant from the New Mexico State Forestry Division with a $980 city match requirement. The Re-Leaf Program was established in 1990 as a tree-planting grant program for public entities.
‘A Park Above’ will be a park for people of all ages and abilities at 2441 Westside Court, off Westside Boulevard. Phase 1 of the park is anticipated to open in the fall.