Call him a modern-day Johnny Appleseed.

State forester Dick Klason has helped thousands of Utah children make the state a more colorful place by planting hundreds of ornamental and flowering fruit trees as part of Leaf it to Us, Children's Crusade for Trees.On Tuesday, Klason told member of the House Energy, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee Tuesday that 46 schools statewide have participated in the program as well as the Children's Museum of Utah.

But spreading color and goodwill has its price. Klason asked the committee for $10,000 to continue the program.

"It's just been a great project to work with. I'd very much like to see it continue," Klason said. He said the program has received national recognition, winning a regional award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

HB265, sponsored by Rep. Ted Lewis, D-Salt Lake, was approved unanimously by the committee and forwarded to the House.