Evart hosts tree planting party

Volunteers spend the day planting

EVART — The City of Evart, in partnership with the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, planted thirty-five 25-gallon trees in and around the city last week.

Seventeen trees were planted at Riverside West Park. The remainder were dispersed to private residences along N. Main Street, N. River Street and 3rd Street.

Species included several varieties of oaks and maples, river birch, American beech, redbud, dogwood and Juneberry.

"Most of the trees were 12 to15 feet tall and made an immediate impact on their surroundings," city clerk Kathy Fiebig said.

The trees were acquired through a USDA grant administered by the MRWA, which provided the trees, stakes, strapping and mulch.

The intent of the grant is to replace aging trees and those removed in past years while diversifying the urban canopy.

"Evart is currently dominated by maples, and many are reaching the end of their life cycle," Fiebig said. "Riverside West had been dominated by ash trees, and most of those were killed by the Emerald ash borer. This left Riverside West looking more like a sports field than the crowning jewel of the Evart park system."

This effort was the second wave as thirty-one trees were planted in Riverside West last fall. The City has an additional 26 trees on hand from this order which will be planted during June, all at private residences.

Lume Cannabis Company of Evart provided almost 60 employee volunteers as labor. They were joined by a number Evart residents.

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the volunteers, all trees were planted, watered, staked, and mulched.

Due to the size and weight of the trees this was an impressive accomplishment.

Lume provided lunch for all volunteers by bringing in a food truck and setting up a tent with tables and chairs in the Park.

"Great day in Evart yesterday," Fiebig said. "These trees were so big that we rented a 36” auger for our Tool Cat. Lume volunteers hand dug a lot of holes.

"The City of Evart is very grateful to the MRWA, to Lume Cannabis Company and their employees, and to the Evart residents that turned out," she said. "They got down and dirty and they got it done. Many of the planting holes had to be hand dug, and we could not have done it without so much help. Thanks, y’all!"

Another round of trees will be available this fall and anyone interested in a tree should contact Fiebig at 231-250-1432 or cityclerk@evart.org.

Residents that receive a tree will be required to water it for at least two growing seasons and the city reserves the right to reject any properties that are not suitable.

Trees planted on private property belong to the resident. Those planted in the right of way along streets belong to the city but the property owner is still required to water the tree until established.