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Pierre students planting Black Hills spruce trees

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota's capital city is getting more of the Black Hills in its urban forest.

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The Pierre Capital Journal reports that every second-grader in town will be given a Black Hills spruce tree to plant.

The effort is being headed by the state Agriculture Department and the the Izaak Walton League, a national conservation group.

Izaak Walton League Conservation Chair Larry Nelson says it's a way to introduce children of the benefits of trees.

State forester Aaron Wang helped deliver the trees Wednesday. He says another goal of the project is to alter the mix of Pierre's tree population as a defense against invasive insects.

Second-grader Jase Anderson called the effort "pretty cool." He says his tree a will be planted in his backyard.

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