Community stewardship

1,900 free trees distributed at Earth Day events

May 10, 2021

Mother nature bestowed a beautiful sunny day to celebrate Earth Day, and for the Health Plan and SSM Health to give away young trees at several locations in the Madison area.

Les McPhearson, who joined the staff at Badger Prairie County Park in Verona, handed out saplings to many individuals and families who dropped by for their free pine tree.

“We’re donating these jack pine saplings in honor and respect for Earth Day,” said McPhearson. “One of our core values is to be able to give back in sustainable and healthy ways to our community, and we’re doing so in one of Dane County’s great parks.”

The tree giveaways are part of an initiative called “Healthy Parks, Healthy You,” which was announced earlier this year. It is a collaboration between SSM Health, Dean Health Plan, the Foundation for Dane County Parks and Dane County Parks.

The goal is to find new ways to engage people of all ages to improve physical and mental health using Dane County’s beautiful parks system. We also encourage inclusive programming to engage all members of the community in enjoying the parks.

A team of staff led by sales executive Mike Weber also distributed hundreds of saplings at Lunney Lake Farm County Park in Madison.

In addition to the tree giveaways for community members, Dean Health Plan and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison gave away jack pine saplings to their employees.

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