Tree City U.S.A. kicks off its Legacy Tree Program

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By Brian Bobal
Mason Times staff writer

Doug Klein is very enthusiastic about the program.

Doug Klein is very enthusiastic about the program.

In preparation for Mason’s sesquicentennial, a new program is being launched called the “Legacy Tree Program.”

“We started looking at what other communities have done,” said Brown. “As part of (Escanaba’s) 150th, they did a tree project. We kind of latched onto that idea.”

The program is designed so an individual, business, group or organization can buy a tree for $150, which will be planted in one of the city parks. The tree will be dedicated to whomever the buyer wishes.

Brown says the community is behind and excited about the program.

“A lot of the members of the community thought this would be a great way to not only celebrate our sesquicentennial, but reinvest in the community for future years to come,” said Councilman Brown. “(The program) fits in very well with our theme, which is ‘rooted in the past, growing in the future.’”

Throughout its history, Mason has been proud to be called a “tree city.”

“We’re considered ‘Tree City U.S.A.,’” said Doug Klein, executive director of the Mason Chamber of Commerce. “So it’s a very important part of our identity to be focused on trees.”

Ingrid Nova is another person excited about the tree program.

Ingrid Nova is another person excited about the tree program.

Ingrid Nova, executive assistant to City Manager Marty Colburn, said, “it’s great that we are doing something that’s tangible. You can own a tree and it’ll be there, hopefully, for years to come. I like trees, personally. I’m a big tree hugger by heart, I guess.”

Nova said the trees can make future generations feel nostalgic.

“Your family, relatives and great-great grandchildren could look at your tree. It’s something that will stand the test of time,” Nova said. “It’s not like buying a brick that, 100 years down the road, might be ripped out.”

Brown also said there is going to be a sentimental feeling in purchasing a tree.

“Someday, I hope to show my children the tree that my wife and I plan on purchasing,” said Brown. “(It’s) something we did for our community.”

While people may suggest which type of tree to plant and where to plant it, Klein says “it’s pretty much up to the city where the trees will be and what kind of trees it will be.”
The different species include the red oak, black oak, Chinquapin oak, bur oak, shingle oak, swamp white oak, white oak, Sycamore, tulip poplar, Kentucky coffee tree, bitternut hickory, and sugar maple.

The trees are to start being planted soon.

“Once the snow gets off the ground, we hope to do some planting in the spring, and that might spur some additional interest in the program,” Brown said. “We are hoping to plant at least 150 trees over the next two years.”

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