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Volunteers help Harrisburg celebrate Arbor Day

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HARRISBURG -- Wednesday may have been a cloudy day, but the gray weather didn't stop more than a dozen volunteers from planting some greenery in the Capital City.

Arborists removed several sick and diseased trees at Riverfront Park to make way for young and healthy saplings.

Even a class from St. Stephens school dug in and got their hands dirty in the process. Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfeuse was impressed by their work, and proclaimed the event as Arbor Day in the Capital.

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse said "trees are just such a wonderful asset to the city of Harrisburg. They're incredibly important. We love the fact that we're taking care of our parks. A lot of these trees haven't been pruned in many years, so being able to muster all this collective energy and volunteerism is really great for the city's life."

Tree workers planted about 20 trees as part of the Arbor Day of service as a way to give back to the community.

PennDel International Society of Aborculture Executive Director April Hutchenson said the trees will do more than make the park pretty.

"They're important to our ecosystem. They're important to our economy. People don't want to live in communities without trees, and so especially in urban areas, making sure we are doing our best to take care of trees, to prune them properly, and sustain them for the long term not only adds to our culture and our history, it adds to our future," Hutchenson said.

The volunteer tree workers provided about $40,000 worth of tree work, free of charge.