Evart tree planting continues to beautify city

Volunteers come out to support effort

EVART — The city of Evart, with the help of volunteers from Lume Cannabis Company in Evart, planted 30 trees at the Evart Housing Commission on May 25, transforming the grounds.

“Oaks, maples, river birches, dogwoods and tulip trees were scattered around the property, planted watered, mulched and staked,” said city clerk Kathy Fiebig. “The city of Evart is very grateful for Lume’s assistance, as the city does not have the manpower to do this. The last crew finished up in the pouring rain, but got the job done." 

In 2020, the city of Evart received a USDA tree grant administered by the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly and has now planted roughly 200 native Michigan trees throughout the city, Fiebig said.

The intention of the grant is to protect the Muskegon River watershed as the trees will help filter out impurities in the water table before they reach the river.  

“It’s been a challenge due to the pandemic,” she said. “The first year of the grant was basically lost and the deadline for completion has been extended to this fall.”

The trees, typically 25-gallon pots, with 2 to 3 feet caliper (trunk dimension) and 10 to 15 feet in height, have already made an immediate and positive impact on the city’s curb appeal, as well as increasing the diversity of the canopy cover, she said.

Most of the trees have been planted on city property, such as rights-of-way, in Riverside West Park and the well field, she added. A number of them, however, have been planted on private property, as well. Evart has partnered with Lume to plant most of the trees.

“It takes an army due to the size of the trees,” Fiebig said. “Although the city typically rents a 36-inch auger to expedite digging the holes, many holes have to be dug by hand due to the proximity of underground utilities.”

MRWA provides the trees, stakes and mulch. The city provides supervision and equipment, and Lume provides the labor. Three local volunteers bring their lawn tractors and dump wagons to haul mulch, Fiebig said.

“Lume has sent out 60 plus employees on four separate occasions to assist with planting,” she said. “Another planting is scheduled for June 8.

“The city of Evart will look very different 50 years from now, thanks to these efforts,” she added.