Planting for the Future

Wellman Rotary Club raises $21,000 to plant 75 large trees around city

Posted 6/3/20

The emerald ash borer has devastated the ash tree population across the country.

Wellman is no exception. At last count, 110 trees will need to be removed around the city as the disease destroys …

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Planting for the Future

Wellman Rotary Club raises $21,000 to plant 75 large trees around city

Posted

The emerald ash borer has devastated the ash tree population across the country.

Wellman is no exception. At last count, 110 trees will need to be removed around the city as the disease destroys trees and drastically changes the tree canopy in the city.

The Rotary Club of Wellman wanted to help.

The club raised nearly $21,000 to plant 75 trees around the city. These are not little saplings but 12- to 15-foot trees.

“Our hope is that many generations will enjoy the benefits trees provide,” Rotary President Allen Leichty said.

Last week, armed with shovels and the help of Jared Miller and a giant hydraulic tree spade from Kalonial Lawn Care and Tree Service, the Rotarians and family members planted the trees around the city.

The first trees were planted at the Wellman Mennonite Church under the watchful eye and guidance of Dean Shetler, head of the church’s trustees, who said that the church had lost nine ash trees that had to be removed because of disease.

The trees were hauled to Wellman from Maple Avenue Nursery on a huge flat-bed trailer by Travis Yoder. Jared Miller dug the holes with his hydraulic spade and dropped each tree into the hole, which was filled in by the Rotarians.

After the church, the club planted trees in yards throughout the city. Rotarians spent five hours planting trees and plan to plant 50 more this week in North Park.

Residents were offered the chance to get a tree in their front or side yards. All they needed to do was promise to water and care for the trees.

Rotarians planted 25 trees on May 26. On Friday, eight Rotarians mulched the newly planted trees.

The fundraising was almost as impressive as the tree planting.

According to Leichty, the Wellman Rotary Club started the fundraising with a $3,000 donation, which was matched by the Rotary District 6000. Alliant Energy’s Branching Out Program in conjunction with Trees Forever donated $4,000. The city of Wellman contributed $1,000 and an anonymous donor provided a bequest of $9,860.

Helping with the planting and mulching were Jessica Hochstedler Yoder and her sons Jason and Kelyn, Marianne Reha VanRoekel with daughter Hannah and son Jonah, Kelly Litwiller with daughter Isabel and son Hayden, Tom Buckwalter, Chuck Miller, Leroy Powell, Merridy and Allen Leichty.

Hannah VanRoekel celebrated her 22nd birthday mulching trees on Friday.

“This has been one extremely successful community service project,” Allen Leichty said. “It was warmly received by Wellman residents. Many have told us, ‘Generations will enjoy the benefits of this huge act of community service.’”

WANT TO HELP?

The Rotary Club of Wellman wants to plant more trees In the city. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation by mailing or dropping off a donation at Hills Bank in Wellman made out to The Rotary Club of Wellman, in care of Kris Burns, treasurer, Hills Bank, 229 Eighth Ave., Wellman, IA 52356.

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