Carlinville Tree City awarded $1,800 grant for tree plantings

Carlinville Tree City awarded $1,800 grant for tree

Prior to its meeting at Loveless Park Sept. 3, the Carlinville Tree City USA organization received a $1,800 grant from Trees Forever that would be used for the planting of more trees within the local community. Pictured, from left, (front) Kathy Ruiter, Carlinville mayor Sarah Oswald, Trees Forever representative Emily Ehley, (back) Lori Hopping, Tracey Bilbruck, Nancy Mihalek and Paul Mihalek. Not pictured is Mary Tinder. Enquirer~Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.

 

By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Prior to its meeting at Loveless Park Sept. 3, the Carlinville Tree City organization received a $1,800 grant from Trees Forever that would be used for the planting of more trees within the local community.

The organization, which is completely volunteer-driven, applied for the grant and got it at the beginning of 2020. However, the presentation had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul Mihalek added that the plantings themselves had come to sort of a decline during that time as well.

“We planted some trees that year but we did those in the fall,” Mihalek said. “That spring was crazy. We didn’t have enough volunteer hours and we didn’t have enough trees planted.”

Once the spring of 2021 came about, the script flipped and the volunteers’ luck changed.

“It was an awesome season,” Mihalek said. “We had things going on at the schools, Blackburn, and we also planted two trees out at Lewis and Clark.”

The organization also hosted an array of events, including the ones they put on throughout Earth Week.

For this grant, Tree City planted 354 trees featuring a variety of native species including serviceberry, American chestnut, paw paw, fringe, tulip, chinkapin oak, American plum, red maple, shellbark hickory, red horsechestnut, redbud and pagoda dogwood.

“The whole goal was to increase the diversity of trees within the community and cut down on the invasive ones,” Mihalek said. “We plant these on city property because we’re trying to be a good example for everyone else around us.”

So far, 266 new trees have been planted at private residencies. 81 are at parks/cemeteries/public spaces and seven have been planted on school/college grounds.