|Jennie Schlosser and Courtney Shannon decorate the tree with city workers.|
The Garden Club of Fort Thomas has received an Environmental Stewardship Grant in the amount of $1000 from the Campbell County Extension Service. This grant will help the Garden Club kick start a project to commemorate the group’s centennial, and will result in 13 trees being planted in Fort Thomas in 2017.
The Garden Club of Fort Thomas is partnering with the Fort Thomas Tree Commission, utilizing their expertise for tree replacement and species selection. The City will provide labor, equipment and material costs for this project. Alison Murphy, President of the Garden Club and owner of Branch Out Design, LLC, will provide professional oversight for the tree installations.
Megan deSola, Chairman of the Fort Thomas Tree Commission, applauds the partnership of the civic groups. “The Tree Commission and the Garden Club have always had a common goal of beautifying Fort Thomas by maintaining and increasing the overall tree canopy. This grant is a wonderful example of two local volunteer organizations coming together to help reach that goal.”
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Four trees will be planted in the public median on North Fort Thomas Avenue between Hartweg and West Southgate Avenue near Johnson Elementary School. The City will first remove several large trees that are dying. Tree selection will be finalized in 2017 based on the recommendation of the Tree Commission, but may include species such as the Lacebark Elm and Zelcova.
The Winkler Fields softball facility on Alexandria Pike near Woodfill Elementary School will benefit from nine trees. The plantings, which may include Shingle Oak and Rosehill Oak along with spruce trees, will add landscaping to this newly renovated park area. The trees will grow to provide much needed shade to spectators.
The Garden Club of Fort Thomas was established in 1921 to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and to encourage civic planting. The club’s 50 members are sponsoring an initiative to plant 100 trees in the next five years to celebrate the group’s centennial.
Long-time member, Lori Wendling, prepared the grant application.
“Decades ago, the Garden Club planted 50 trees to enhance the city’s streetscape. Many of these mature trees are in decline, having experienced damage due to insects or disease. The Garden Club is excited to sponsor this project. We believe it is vital that Fort Thomas retains the special ambiance that tree-lined streets provide.”
The Garden Club is also responsible for the beautiful plantings in the medians in the center of the city as well as the hanging baskets in the central business district. They are also responsible for the beautiful Christmas tree at Inverness Park as well as the winter planters and stop sign decorations for the annual Holiday Walk.
A Greek proverb proclaims, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Thanks to the partnership of the Garden Club and the Tree Commission, the City of Fort Thomas continues to play an active role in the urban forestry movement.