Park Volunteers Plant Acorns “For the Future”

On a bright fall morning eleven volunteers gathered at One Mile in Bidwell Park to plant acorns, including an expectant mother who was glad to know her newborn would be able to see the growing trees. The day of the planting was on “Giving Tuesday” and these folks certainly gave back to the Park their love and appreciation for everything the Park has given them. “I wish I could walk in this Park everyday,” said volunteer Batool Aladawood, a busy pre-medical student.

Many of the oldest Valley Oak trees in Bidwell Park were toppled by last winter’s storms and lie now like fallen giants among the grass and shrubbery of the park grounds. According to Richie Bamlet (he likes to be called “Richie”), Chico’s Urban Forester, we need all ages of trees to rebuild and sustain our precious natural resource – our urban forest.

When I asked Richie why plant these tiny acorn seeds now, he simply replied, “For the future.”

Volunteer acorn planters.


Local, native Valley Oak acorns to be planted.


Richie Bamlet, Urban Forester, demonstrates how to plant the acorns.


Three acorns are planted in hopes that at least one will germinate and take root.


Next, a protective cone is placed around the newly planted acorns.


Rich Ober, former Parks Commissioner, and Batool Aldawood, pre-med student and CAVE volunteer, are the first acorn-planting team to break ground.


L-R, team leader, Robin McCollum of Chico Tree Advocates, Shelly Corley, mother of Marisa Stoller, pregnant acorn-planter.


On left, Aaron Holt, Senior Maintenance Worker and on right,Dave Bettencourt, Field Supervisor, place protective and decorative cages around the planted acorns.  Due to city department cut-backs, Bettencourt and Holt make up the entire city Tree Crew.