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Tree planting season adding 35 new trees to West Lafayette neighborhood

Dozens of trees are being planted in West Lafayette this spring. It's part of the city's initiative to make the community more environmentally friendly.

Posted: Mar 5, 2021 7:05 AM
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 9:34 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Tree planting season is underway in West Lafayette. A total of 35 street trees are going in, 21 will be planted this spring and 14 more will be planted during the fall season this year. 

All these trees will be added to the Arbor Chase neighborhood. The city is partnering with the West Lafayette Tree Friends to complete this planting project. The chairperson of the organization, Dennis Schlott lives in the Arbor Chase neighborhood, and with help from neighbors, they identified several spaces in that area that need trees.

While this year's planting is focused on the Arbor Chase neighborhood, this tree planting initiative is open to all West Lafayette neighborhoods. The city and the West Lafayette Tree Friends are splitting the cost of a $45,450 budget for tree planting this year.
This money is allowing residents to be able to request trees to be planted in their neighborhood free of charge.

Schlott said street trees can typically survive at a distance of at least 40 feet apart, so if the space between exceeds that, that's how you can spot if a tree is needed in a green space area. The city and the West Lafayette Tree Friends are planting as many trees as their funding allows. The process of planting trees costs around $400, this includes the cost of labor that goes into the actual planting process.

These trees provided through the city and West Lafayette Tree Friends can only be put into public green spaces next to sidewalks, so residents who want trees in their own front or backyards will have to use their own resources to provide that.

Schlott is encouraging people to understand how important tree planting really is for the community.

"It absorbs carbon dioxide, produces oxygen, filters rainwater, and let's face it, they just look nice," said Schlott. "Through planting and caring for street trees, it's making West Lafayette a more beautiful and healthier place to live and work."

The city is providing a list of 14 trees that residents can choose between. These are trees that are able to survive the climate in this region. Schlott said residents being able to choose the kind of trees that grow on their street helps build a sense of pride and ownership in the community.

He's hoping residents will find interest in this planting program as it's providing a lasting environmental impact in West Lafayette.

"You know the old saying is, 'When's the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago, the second-best time is today," said Schlott. "By planting a small tree now you're providing some benefits now but those benefits are going to live on for 50 to 100 years."

The West Lafayette Tree Friends is completely run on donations and by volunteers. If you're interested in helping the organization's tree planting initiative, click here.

The city and West Lafayette Tree Friends have reached their budget limit for tree planting this year. If you'd like to be on the list to receive a street tree next year, you can reach out to Dennis Schlott at chair@wltreefriends.org.

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