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Help Park Trees Bounce Back from Insect Destruction

Gary Rees on March 25, 2024

(Pictured:  Lamoni Parks and Recreation Director Tim Brunner stands next to a pin oak – the first tree donated and planted in the Park’s Adopt a Tree Drive initiative.)

Lamoni faces a difficult challenge as many shade trees in both Central and North Parks have been destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  With over 40 ash trees in North Park alone lost to this invasive pest, the community has taken action to restore the beauty and vitality of its parks.

The impact has been significant resulting in the removal of these ash trees in North Park and the identification of several in Central Park that will also need to be destroyed. The city has made efforts to ease the loss of these ash trees by adding approximately 25 new trees over the past few years.  “The process of regaining their scenic look and shade will undoubtedly take time as these young trees need to mature and develop,” Lamoni’s Parks and Recreation Director, Tim Brunner, said. 

In response to the urgent need to replenish the lost trees and revitalize North and Central Park, the Parks and Recreation Commission has launched an Adopt a Tree Drive initiative. Its goal is to encourage Lamoni residents and organizations to participate in the restoration efforts by sponsoring the planting of new trees.  Each tree cost $550 which includes delivery and planting by the nursery and is tax deductible.

By sponsoring a tree, individuals and groups can make a tangible and lasting impact on the environment and community of Lamoni. “The Adopt a Tree Drive offers the chance to contribute to the creation of vibrant, shaded spaces that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for years to come,” Brunner said.

The focus of the Adopt a Tree Drive is on the planting a variety of trees which have proven to be resilient and well-suited to Southern Iowa. These trees, after a few years of growth, will offer a promising future for Lamoni parks. Already, one generous community member has donated a pin oak tree which was professionally planted using mechanical spading techniques. These trees are expected to reach heights of 30-35 feet within a decade, providing much-needed shade in a shorter time frame compared to planting saplings.

“Want to make a difference in Lamoni's environment? Adopt a tree,” Mayor Doug Foster urged.  Send a check payable to the City of Lamoni to 190 South Chestnut Street, Lamoni, or for more information, contact Tim Brunner at the Community Center at (641) 784-6742.  “Together, we can make a positive impact on our community – one tree at a time!” Foster said.

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