planting for today and future generations

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April 2019 Newsletter

 The next meeting of Growing Friends will be:

7:00 PM, Thursday, April 4, 2019 Room 309, City-County Building, 326 N. Park Avenue

Want more excitement in your life?  The chance to influence important decisions?  Then save the date, because the annual Growing Friends’ Members Meeting is coming up.

It will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at St. Paul’s Methodist Church on Lawrence Street (between Last Chance Gulch and the Helena Cathedral).  You will receive a formal notice of the meeting and its agenda in April.  The meeting will start at 7:00 PM.  Following it, the Board will hold its usual monthly meeting.  By all means stay and watch your Board at work (and be transfixed by its wisdom and efficiency).  

I know there is still snow on the ground but not for long, we hope.  Don’t you love the remaining crusty snow, the ice and icicles, and the run-off ?  Even with all of that, now is when the Board gets serious about planning this year’s projects.  Ideas or suggestions?  Just let us know. 

At the March Board meeting, we received an update on the status of three new elementary schools that are under construction.  The architects (one for each school) gave short presentations on the design of the school grounds and the potential for tree plantings.  Construction is scheduled to be completed by late August.  Space restrictions at the Central don’t allow much planting, except along Warren Street. At the Bryant there are likely to be several planting opportunities.  And at Jim Darcy the grounds are wide open for tree planting.  And praises be to whatever deity or administrator is responsible, there is water available at all three sites.  The Board will be reviewing grant requests for all three schools, hoping to make at least one of the plantings a major volunteer opportunity.

And here’s another possible project.  A homeowner along Davis Street south of Broadway is interested in organizing a planting of boulevard trees in the neighborhood.  She is willing to contact her neighbors to have them help with the planting.  With an offer such as that, how can we say no?  

The City of Helena recently received a $10,000 grant for the removal of dead and dying boulevard trees, which are mainly green ash.  If you’ve been faithful readers of this newsletter – and there won’t be a quiz – you know about the advance of the emerald ash borer and the aging of the green ash trees in town.  The City is planning to hire a contractor with specialized equipment to take down large trees.  Why is the removal of trees of interest to Growing Friends, a tree planting group?   Because when the old trees come down, the plan is to replant with new boulevard trees, including a variety of species to begin the process of regenerating our urban forest.  We will help the City to contact the adjacent property owners to obtain their involvement.  More on this anon. 

Bob Throssell, President

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