Township plants 14 trees to beautify, fortify community

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Ryan Silvola/Beloit Daily News Town of Beloit Public Works employee Dalton Johns plants a tree in Armstrong Eddy Park on Tuesday. Public works crews planted 14 trees at the park and Fire Station Two on Tuesday.

TOWN OF BELOIT - Fourteen new trees were planted in the Town of Beloit on Tuesday, as officials look to beautify and fortify the township's greenery.

Mike Birkholz, road department foreman for the Town of Beloit, said the Town of Beloit will hold its Annual Arbor Day Celebration at 9 a.m. on Friday at Armstrong Eddy Park as a part of its ongoing Tree City USA application.

The Town of Beloit was presented with its first Tree City USA award for 2017 from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It received the award again in 2018. Birkholz said the Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation highlights the town's commitment to urban forestry, community improvement and civic pride.

The township planted eight trees at Armstrong Eddy Park and six trees on the grounds of Fire Station Two.

Birkholz said the goal is to have a diverse selection of trees so if another insect infestation affecting trees were to hit the area, hopefully all the trees won't be affected. He said the town will be planting different types of trees, including: common baldcypress, quaking aspen, sweet gum, tulip, redbud and more.

"Wisconsin has 60 to 70 percent maple trees. The next bug will devastate the tree population," Birkholz said. "You're still going to get the same colors and leaves, just with different hybrids of trees."

The township was able to purchase the trees using a $2,200 grant from the American Transmission Company.

The township is in the second year of implementing a three-year Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Grant. The startup grant is helping the township develop an inventory of all its trees as well as an urban forestry management plan. Birkholz said he's about halfway through the township's tree inventory.

In addition to the new trees, the Town of Beloit also is currently holding an ongoing Fire Station Two fundraiser to improve the exterior and landscaping surrounding the newly renovated fire station. Those looking to memorialize a loved one or support a business or organization can do so while also supporting the Town of Beloit Fire Station.

Town of Beloit Fire Chief/Administrator Gene Wright said he would like to develop an arboretum on the grounds of Fire Station Two.

Those interested can buy a brick starting at $100 with two sizes and customization options available. Those who purchase a brick also will receive a 4"x4" replica tile. Participants also can buy a tree for $500, which will feature a plaque next to the tree.

To participate in the fundraiser, visit Fire Station One at 2445 S. Afton Road or call or email Special Projects Coordinator Liane Mills at 608-364-2997 or lmills@town.beloit.wi.us.

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