Reed City, Morley Community Center receive grants to plant trees

REED CITY, MORLEY — Reed City and the Morley Community Center recently received grants to plant new trees with help from DTE Foundation, DNR and ReLeaf Michigan.

Reed City received $3,935 courtesy of a program sponsored by the DTE Foundation and administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and nonprofit tree organization ReLeaf Michigan.

"Back in September of 2021, we had those high winds and storms that came through and we lost quite a bit of trees across the city," Reed City manager Rich Saladin said. "We've replanted some of them in the parks, along the park trails across the Hersey River. Still, we had some other ones along the boulevards and other places around town that we would like to replant with younger trees going in and replacing some of our canopy."

Reed City will be getting 18 to 19 trees to plant in various locations around the city, including various roads throughout the city such as Franklin Avenue and along the Hersey River. The goal is to put them in during spring 2023, after this winter season. The city will be working with the Muskegon River Watershed group to get the tree's planted.

"Surprisingly, trees are expensive. We're looking at an average cost anywhere between $180 and $320 per tree," Saladin said. "These are the type of trees where we need to have more of a mature type that's already in a bag. They're going to be a 2 to 3 inch diameter tree. So hopefully they'll grow a little bit faster that way."

The Morley Community Center also received $2,500 from the program. This will replace many of the pine trees that were cut down across the property earlier this year. They will be planting around 20 young hardwood trees around the property.

"It's something we couldn't have done it without the grant," center manager Linda Kizer said. "To me, it's just really exciting whenever you can get these grants. Obviously, they are little trees now. I may not in my lifetime see them fully grown, but to know that we are planning for the future, for the kids and the community."

Overall, 31 communities received grants through the program to complete 33 tree-planting projects around the state, totaling $104,955 in funds. Individual grants ranged from $600 to $4,000 in multiple communities. Project proposals are solicited annually from eligible partners around the state. The next opportunity to apply is summer 2023.

For more information, visit the DNR Tree Planting Grant Page.