Citizen pruner course slated in Big Lake

A citizen pruner training session will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Big Lake City Hall, 160 Lake Street N., Big Lake.

Cost is $5 per person.

The course is part of a partnership involving Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District and area cities including Elk River, Big Lake and Zimmerman. They are partnering with the University of Minnesota Tree Care Advocate Program on a pilot program that engages citizens in caring for their community forestry.

Citizen pruner volunteers have gathered at several city parks and other locations to assist with basic tree pruning since 2014. They are trained in small tree structural pruning, and during events scheduled throughout the year help maintain trees on publicly-owned property.

For details, go to tinyurl.com/ya4pplh9 or contact Gina Hugo at the Sherburne Soil and Water Conservation District at 763-241-1170, ext. 4, or email her at [email protected]

Since February of 2017, Hugo said they have done 13 events and pruned 236 public trees. The work involved a total of 97 hours of volunteer time.

There currently are 21 active pruners in the program.

“The program is going really well and growing in popularity as more and more people are interested in getting in touch with nature and learning about trees,” Hugo said.