The Washington Tree Committee delivered its annual report to City Council this week and recognized a member who put in 20+ years.
Committee Chair Marde McConnell and Member Andy Dahl shared some highlights from 2021, which included their annual Spring Tree Giveaway, featuring 100 trees that were also donated during the Washington Summer Classic, and plantings. trees they made last fall in three city parks and Elm Grove Cemetery with a $5,000 derecho recovery grant. In the 31 years Washington has had the Tree City, USA designation, McConnell shared that they have donated or planted approximately 13,700 trees and received approximately $150,000 each in grants and donations.
Committee member Rick Wagenknecht presented his Volunteer of the Year award to John Marshall and explained that Marshall often showed up a few hours early to start tree planting. Dahl described how Marshall’s past experience as Postmaster General translated into his volunteerism: “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark night shall detain these couriers in the speedy discharge of their duties.” And you planted in the snow, the sleet, the rain, maybe the dark of night, the dark of morning most certainly always with a smile on your face. And Rick mentioned the knowledge you have of every address in town, which helps us tremendously, but he forgot to mention the most important thing that John brings is that he is our caterer.”
Other tree committee accomplishments in 2021 include planting 12 trees at the water treatment plant, 30 trees at the wellness park, and another 20 trees at City Hall, Washington Middle and High School and Lincoln Elementary School, with the help of the Green Acres 4-H Club. Those who would like to volunteer with the committee can find more information in this story at kciiradio.com.