A large group of volunteers planted 250 trees in Washington Park to replace aging foliage and protect the park from emerald ash borer.
On Friday morning, 400 volunteers planted trees and picked up trash in the popular Denver park. All of the trees planted were species other than ash trees.
"[We're] making sure we are diversifying our tree canopy, just making sure our canopy is healthy and will last for the next hundred years," said Scott Gilmore, deputy executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation.
Gilmore said the emerald ash borer in the city is inevitable. The Colorado State Forest Service indicated they believe the tree killing bug is headed towards Denver. The city has nearly $2 million in its budget to plant new trees and treat existing trees to survive the invasive bug.
"In the city of Denver we don't actually plant Ash Trees anymore," Gilmore said.
Washington Park is home to a wide variety of tree species, including some ash trees. The city plans to mark these trees and keep an eye on them. Also, the trees in Washington park are getting old, some as old as 100 years old. Some trees may become infected with other tree diseases or have hollow bases. When those trees come down, the city wants other trees in their place to keep the park beautiful.