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story.lead_photo.caption Courtney Coffelt, of the Fulton Engineering Department and the Fulton Stream Team, spent part of Tuesday planting six new native trees and shrubs along Stinson Creek. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

Courtney Coffelt, of the Fulton Engineering Department and the Fulton Stream Team, spent part of Tuesday planting six new native trees and shrubs along Stinson Creek.

The ninebarks, redbuds and river birches were free thanks to Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, which hosts an annual native tree giveaway, Coffelt said.

"I picked this spot because it's barren of trees," she added. "Grass is great for filtering water and cooling it down before it enters the stream. Tree roots help in the same way, and they also help stabilize the bank and are good for birds."

After the trees are planted, she plans to tape off the area so the city's mowers leave it alone — in addition to protecting the saplings, it'll give other native plants that might be lurking in the soil a chance to make themselves known.

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