2nd generation trees may come to Tippecanoe Co. Fairgrounds

A little more than 60 trees are expected to be chopped down in order to reshape the fairgrounds but commissioners say a project started years ago could replace them.

Posted: Jul. 31, 2018 5:47 PM
Updated: Jul. 31, 2018 6:32 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A second generation of trees could be coming to the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds. 

About 64 trees are expected to be chopped down in order to reshape the area.

"We are trying to keep as many as possible," said Commissioner David Byers. 

The trees with orange plastic wrapped around them are expected to go. 

"We could lay the pipes through, but we'll cut roots, and in five years, the trees are going to be dead then too," said Byers. "So, it's just a matter of being pro-active."

Over the years, the wooded area at the fairgrounds started flooding. As a result, it's become the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Commissioners want to reshape the grounds to make it a safer green space. Some of the trees pose a danger to the public.

"They're getting their age, we've had limbs come down during the fair on people's cars," said Byers.

Byers knows people will be sad about getting rid of trees with so much history but he hopes what they plan to do next softens the blow.

"We are trying to turn a facility that has strongly lived its life, and bring new life," said Byers. 

Thanks to Woody Warehouse Nursery, a second generation of these trees can be planted at the fairgrounds.

Woody Warehouse employees started collecting seeds at the fairgrounds years ago. The trees' babies, if you will, have been growing at their facility in Hendricks County for about five years.

"That's about as good as it gets when it comes to local genetics," said Woody Warehouse Co-Owner Pete Berg. 

Sometime in the future, commissioners hope to buy and plant the saplings at the Fairgrounds. It's a rare opportunity.

"Not every municipality gets the luxury of having their own genetics," said Berg. "For example, because we are not collecting seed from every species in every town."

Byers knows change is difficult.

"This is a beautiful place, it really is," said Byers. "And it has a tremendous amount of history to it and a lot of memories to it and it's going to still make memories. It's still for the people."

Byers expects the trees to be cut down sometime this fall.

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