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Working at Beautifying Centreville

Virginia Run Home and Garden Club is planting trees.

The Virginia Run Home and Garden Club wants to beautify the community, and it's starting by planting trees. Toward that end, the members invited Kay Fowler, a volunteer coordinator with Fairfax ReLeaf, to tell them how to plant trees like an expert.

"I'm looking for tree activists who will say, 'I need 11 trees' — who will lead groups to plant them," said Fowler.

Addressing members at the club's Tuesday meeting at the Virginia Run Community Center, she said her goal is to train site leaders who will then lead other groups in planting trees and taking care of them.

"We want to enhance the appearance of Centreville and this is our first step," said club president Mary-Rose Woodward. She says the members are very enthusiastic: "They take pride in their community. They are ready to plant trees and make Centreville a more beautiful place to live."

Native Virginia hardwood trees such as river birch, willow oaks and evergreens are supplied through the Virginia Department of Forestry, says Fowler, and are free to anyone who asks through a grant program. But they need to be planted on public land — including property owned by schools, churches and homeowners associations.

The Virginia Run Home and Garden Club will be planting tree saplings on Tuesday, March 23, at 9:30 a.m. at Virginia Run Elementary School. The club is also sponsoring a tree-planting project on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are needed to help plant tree saplings at the intersection of Routes 28 and 29 in Centreville.

"This is a great opportunity for Scouts or students needing community service hours," said Woodward. Meet at the Newgate Shopping Center parking lot near the Route 28 ramp onto Route 29. Look for the volunteers with orange vests. Bring basic supplies including milk-gallon jugs filled with water for watering the trees, shovels, hammers and bags of topsoil.

The Virginia Run Home and Garden Club is working in conjunction with Fairfax ReLeaf and the Fairfax County Tree Commission. The club meets every month from September to May, on the third Tuesday, at 9:30 a.m. at the Virginia Run Community Center.

Annual membership dues are $15; non-members may attend for $5/meeting. Contact co-chairs Mary-Rose Woodward at 703-222-2489 or Lvtoocook@aol.com or Judy Kelsen at 703-263-0576 or Judy@kelsen.com.