Cookeville has added new identification labels to native tree species in Cane Creek and City Lake Parks.
Urban Forester Jaime Nunan said the labels will provide a great benefit to anyone who visit the parks.
“Identification labels, I think, give people better access to education and knowledge about our local native plants. Everything labeled there is a native plant that grows here in Middle Tennessee where we all live,” Nunan said. “It gives people access to go there, see what would do good in their yard, what a grown tree of that species looks like, and for kids as well. It’s a great way to get just basic knowledge on tree species that is kind of hard to find anywhere else.”
At least 30 tags were added to trees in both parks to help visitors identify the various species that grow in the area.
Nunan said the labels will provide new opportunities for those wanting to learn more about the parks’ native species.
“I think having this certified arboretum at Cane Creek Park opens up a new door of [different] types of people that have been to Cane Creek,” Nunan said. “You’re still going to have your regular people that visit for all the other great things, but now we’re open to have field trips and we can have college kids. I think it’ll bring a new group of people into the park for more educational purposes as well.”
Nunan said being able to label the tree species has allowed the parks to become Level 1 arboretum certified.
“Both of those we got certified through the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. The Urban Forestry Council is the main [certification system] in Tennessee that you have to go through,” Nunan said. “They’re both certified as Level 1 right now, and we can move up to Level 2 and 3 with the more trees we identify and label, but we just wanted to start there.”
The labels include both the common and scientific names for each tree species in addition to QR codes so visitors can learn more.