About 30 volunteers recently gathered at Pelizzari Natural Area on the Old Mission Peninsula to plant 20 trees surrounding the parking area next to Center Road.
The tree-planting, which took place on Oct. 13, was a joint effort between ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree organization, in partnership with the DTE Energy Foundation, Peninsula Township, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, and the Michigan Forestry Assistance Program.
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Parks volunteer Dave Murphy said the group was a great mix of longtime and new volunteers, kids, and Boy Scouts, along with Park Commissioner John Snow and park groundskeeper Bob Wilkinson.
“Any time we get a good group chipping in and giving up a chunk of their weekend, it’s pretty special,” said Murphy.
DTE Energy Regional Manager Carla Gribbs noted, “This is a great opportunity to be able to support Peninsula Township. These trees are going to make a long-term difference, and I love that we’ve partnered with ReLeaf – they’re the experts.”
Kay Sicheneder, who works with Owen Tree Service and is a consulting arborist with ReLeaf Michigan, started the session by explaining how to plant the trees for best longevity. The volunteers then formed groups to plant other trees.
The tree-planting project will not only enhance the overall tree canopy at the park, but also provide needed shade around the parking area.
ReLeaf Michigan is celebrating its 30th Anniversary of working with communities throughout the state. To date, they have planted more than 30,000 trees in 400+ communities and made hundreds of presentations to homeowners. The organization relies on donations and memberships to help cover the costs, so consider donating or becoming a member at their website, ReLeafMichigan.org.
Over the past 22 years, the DTE Energy Foundation has worked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to plant more than 40,000 trees in communities across the state of Michigan.
Click here to learn about the history of the Pelizzari family and how Pelizzari Park came to be one of Peninsula Township’s parks.