By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Forest in the making

Marcus Larson/News-Registe##Siobhan Skaer and her son, Daniel, 5, work together to plant trees at Goose Pond Farm near Yamhill. More than 50 boy and girl scouts and their parents planted Douglas fir seedlings Saturday.
Marcus Larson/News-Registe##Siobhan Skaer and her son, Daniel, 5, work together to plant trees at Goose Pond Farm near Yamhill. More than 50 boy and girl scouts and their parents planted Douglas fir seedlings Saturday.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Cub Scout Misael Mendoza fills in dirt around a newly planted tree. Tree planting is a muddy job, said Misael, 9, but it s fun, too.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Cub Scout Misael Mendoza fills in dirt around a newly planted tree. Tree planting is a muddy job, said Misael, 9, but it's fun, too.

YAMHILL — Dozens of young Scouts and parents swarmed — as fast as the mud would let them, anyway — over a small valley Saturday morning.

They set about digging holes for Douglas fir seedlings. Their aim was to reforest Goose Pond Farm as a community service, and have some fun in the process.

“Trees give oxygen and take away carbon dioxide,” said 9-year-old Ronyn Gaudet, one of more than 50 signing up for the planting party.

Farm owners Paul and Iris Werts hosted the event. Members of the Yamhill County Small Woodlands Association, they plan to install a plaque at the edge of the new forest acknowledging the help they received from the youngsters.

On Saturday, they welcomed Boy and Girl Scouts from Yamhill, Carlton, McMinnville and Sheridan. They promised snacks and lunch in addition to the tree-planting adventure.

They rolled out wheelbarrows filled with foot-tall, bare-root seedlings — 1,500 in all.

Paul Werts said he was expecting the Scouts to plant about 600.

Werts had pre-dug the first set of holes, by the road. The youngsters soon filled those holes and headed down a steep slope leading to the valley floor.

“The kids are so eager,” he said. “They like going the farthest they can.”

In less than an hour, children and adults in colorful boots and rain gear dotted the whole property.

“It’s neat to plant trees,” said 5-year-old Daniel Skaer, who worked alongside his mom, Siobhan. 

It was the first time he’d planted trees.

“You dig a hole and put in your tree,” he said, explaining the process. “It’s fun!”

Nine-year-old Misael Mendoza participated because it was an official activity for Cub Scout Troop 454, based in Yamhill. Though quickly covered in mud, he was happy.

“You get muddy because you have to dig a hole, put in the tree, then put the dirt back,” he said. And he seconded Daniel’s “It’s fun!” assessment.

Derek Easterday, a 15-year-old whe needs eight hours of service to earn a merit badge, spent most of his time digging 2x2 holes — big enough to give the little trees room to spread their roots.

It was hard work, but rewarding, he said. He enjoyed being outside at a site with a beautiful view of the hills west of Yamhill.

Nine-year-old Karson Kerr worked with his father, Brent. Dad dug the holes and Karson planted the seedlings.

“We’re a team,” Brent said. “It’s fun and we’re getting a great sense of satisfaction.”

Karson said they plan to return to visit the site someday. “In 10 years, they’ll be big trees!” he said.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS