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Dakota Tree Project Honors Legacy of Dakota William Powell with New Trees at Phil Chacon

New partnership will promote memorial tree plantings at City parks

The Dakota Tree Project this week commemorated its newly-minted partnership with the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department by planting three trees at Phil Chacon Park in southeast Albuquerque. Under this new partnership, the Dakota Tree Project will work to promote and support the City’s tribute tree program.

“Planting trees to honor a loved one creates a living legacy,” stated Dave Simon, Director of Parks and Recreation. “We’re proud to partner with the Dakota Tree Project and we invite the community to help us remember Dakota and fulfill his desire to serve others by planting trees.”

“The Dakota Tree Project’s kickoff for this partnership with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to encourage and support the planting of memorial trees in Albuquerque is a mission close to our hearts, especially if a loved one was the victim of gun violence or suicide,” said Pamela Weese Powell, Cofounder of the Dakota Tree Project. “Our goal is that this is the first of many projects that will help plant, maintain, and teach about the power of trees and community gardens.”

The Dakota Tree Project was founded by Marc Powell and Pamela Weese Powell to continue the legacy of Dakota William Powell, who lost his life to suicide in August 2017. Dakota was happiest when he was in the forest. He loved to help plant trees and felt a special affinity for the protection and power that they provide. Following his passing, Marc and Pamela began planting trees in his honor which led to the creation of the Dakota Tree Project. The Project aims to plant and maintain as many trees as possible in underserved communities like the International District.

By promoting the planting of memorial trees and establishing community gardens, the Dakota Tree Project is an integral partner with the City to maintain parks as welcoming and relaxing places. Memorial trees can be a living remembrance of a loved one that will help improve the quality of life for the community, providing benefits to future generations.

To learn more about the City’s memorial tree program, visit http://bit.ly/memorialtreeprogram. To learn more about the Dakota Tree Project, visit https://dakotatreeproject.org/.

Dakota Tree Project at Phil Chacon Park 1Parks & Recreation staff join Marc Powell, Pamela Weese Powell, and Sally Powell of the Dakota Tree Project to plant three new trees at Phil Chacon Park.

Dakota Tree Project at Phil Chacon Park 2
Marc Powell and Pamela Weese Powell join PRD Director Dave Simon and members of the PRD Urban Forestry crew to plant a tree at Phil Chacon Park in memory of Dakota William Powell.

Dakota Tree Project at Phil Chacon Park 3
Marc Powell and Pamela Weese Powell help plant a tree at Phil Chacon Park in memory of Dakota William Powell.

Dakota Tree Project at Phil Chacon Park 4
From left to right: Pamela Weese Powell, Marc Powell, and Sally Powell of the Dakota Tree Project