By Robert Lucke
Havre's Johnny Appleseed is at it once again this spring. Gary Hilson has come up with three hundred trees to plant in the vicinity of Beaver Creek Reservoir in Beaver Creek Park south of Havre.
"These trees this year are a little bigger than the ones I have planted before," Hilson said. "Some are from Plains, Montana and others come from Washington state."
They are coming in this week, according to Hilson. A small party is going with him this weekend to plant them, weather permitting.
"I would like to plant them at the lower dam, on the east end of the dam and then maybe go up the creek with some of them too," Hilson added. "Mel Gomke was telling me that there used to be lots of campsites going up the creek from the dam, and even though there won't be enough trees to do many, maybe we can do some of them too."
Trees this year include jack pine, paper birch, balsam fir and lodgepole pine.
Not only that, but Hilson has come up with a pound of jack pine seeds which he is having great luck this spring turning into seedlings.
"I think that the good Lord has blessed me with a green thumb," said Hilson, with a laugh. "I have a hundred of those seedlings growing and it is supposed to be difficult to get them to grow at all."
With the addition of this year's trees, it will bring the total amount of trees planted around Beaver Creek Reservoir by Hilson and his friends to well over 2,000.
Hilson calls it his obsession, and it is a pretty magnificent one at that.
He is looking for volunteers to help plant. If interested, call him at (406) 265-6915.