South Portland Land Trust will give away free cedar saplings at Mill Creek Park, across from Hannaford on 50 Cottage Road, on May 23 and May 30. Volunteers will bring the seedlings to the cars. Courtesy photo Richard Rottkov

SOUTH PORTLAND — On Saturday, May 23 and Saturday, May 30, the South Portland Land Trust will offer free cedar saplings at Mill Creek Park.

Thanks to a donation from Cedar Works in Rockland, the trust said, the organization has received 1,000 Northern White Cedar saplings, which volunteers will be handing out in bundles of 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays.

According to the land trust, volunteers will bring the saplings to recipients’ cars as a way to minimize physical contact. They will either pass the bundles through car windows or place them in the trunks.

Northern white cedars are popular for hedging or as a windbreak, said the trust in a press release. Growing best in areas with at least six hours of sunlight a day, the cedars can reach a height of 40 to 60 feet, span 10 to 15 feet wide, and often provide shelter for various species of birds.

South Portland Land Trust said that it is doing its part to combat global warming, as trees are vital to the ecosystem.

“Planting a tree may seem like a small action, given that climate change is a crisis that spans our globe,” Richard Rottkov, president of the land trust, said. “However, the most powerful and hopeful actions that each of us can undertake are often local acts of respect and attention … visible and tangible ways of caring for the places where we live. That means these little trees can add up to one big difference.”

According to the land trust, trees, in addition to playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change, also keep the community inviting and sustainable.

“Every young tree absorbs about 13 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and full-grown trees absorb four times that,” said the land trust in its release. “In addition to sequestering carbon, trees prevent erosion, and mediate effects of flooding, drought and storm surges, as well as cooling municipalities. With global warming threatening the survival of the planet, trees are vital to any climate action plan. All this in addition to their beauty.”

Both land trust members and non-members can pick up saplings, the organization said.

For more information about the land trust, visit www.southportlandlandtrust.org.

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