I’d like to thank Lynette Walther for her timely article (Republican Journal, Dec. 8) on “Adapting to climate change with calculated planting of trees.” It’s a great lead-in for me to mention the many programs in our area to assist people with doing just that.

Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District has spearheaded two local projects that you can visit to see some of the recommended adaptive trees Walther mentions, including shagbark hickory, white oaks, black walnut, disease resistant American elms, sweet birch, yellow (tulip) poplar and more. A good place to start is Belfast City Park Arboretum, where these trees are planted and labeled.

Research plots of some of these trees are also located at Head of Tide Preserve in Belfast, and can be seen up close as you walk along the trail. New projects to plant and study climate adaptive trees are underway at Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association and Viles Arboretum.

Each year, we host workshops at these locations on the importance of trees and adapting our forests to climate change. Many species are declining precipitously, so this creative, anticipatory work will be vital to keeping our ecosystems healthy for wildlife, birds, and invertebrates in the coming decades. You can be a part of this work.

Waldo and Knox-Lincoln conservation districts offer trees each spring that you can plant, and we have a community science program where you can let us know how your climate adaptation trees are doing to help us with our research and restoration. Area schools are also planting and studying trees as a part of our work.

If you’d like to help, just contact Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more. It’s going to take all of us to keep our landscape healthy and vibrant in the face of climate change, drought, invasive species and diseases that are all taking a toll. Planting trees is an essential part of this work.

Aleta McKeage

Technical Director

Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District