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Planting through the Rotary Tree Towns project

Nooga Nights Rotary Club is planting community one tree at a time through its Rotary Tree Towns project — read along for how you can bring a tree to a green space near you.

New trees next to a sidewalk in a residential area.

Things are sprouting across the city through this volunteer-led program.

Photo provided by Nooga Night Rotary Club

Does our little mountain city actually have enough tree coverage in our urban areas? This is the question that the Nooga Night Rotary Club is addressing with its Rotary Tree Towns project.

This initiative directly connects residents to trees, whether it’s for their front yards or neighborhood parks. Club member Kurt Martig, a landscape architect, said he came up with the project after moving here from Portland, OR + noticed a need around town.

“It’s about incremental change,” Martig said. “To me, making these neighborhoods better and when I think of a small thing I can do, is plant trees.”

23 trees have already been provided through the program during the first planting season back in March. Thanks to a $32,000 grant (to be allocated over three years), the program is expanding to plant 50 trees next season.

 Rotary Tree Towns' tree with a tag on it from Nooga Night Rotary Club

Expect native species like oaks, tulip poplars + maples that range from 8 to 12-ft tall, providing more shade.

Photo provided by Nooga Night Rotary Club

Fun fact: 50 trees will roughly cost $9,000 to $12,000, depending on the species and sizes.

Looking ahead at the second planting season, the club has identified these priority neighborhoods: Hill City, Jefferson Heights, Highland Park, Oak Grove, Orchard Knob, and Ridgedale. Note: Locations are picked based on research by UTC.

Are you an interested neighbor? We’re planting the seeds to how it works:

  • Fill out an interest form by Sunday, Sept. 1.
  • Once your tree is reserved, you’ll pay $30 — this covers cost, delivery + planting, and you’ll receive $10 off to The Barn Nursery.
  • The program also includes guidance leading up to the planting season + you’ll get connected to a local arborist partner to learn proper care.
Rotary Tree Towns volunteers planting a tree

Bonus: The club is always looking for more members to join in on local efforts like the Rotary Tree Towns project.

Photo provided by Nooga Night Rotary Club

Martig said the club purposely chooses candidates that plan on caring for the tree, and that the small cost helps provide a sense of ownership and buy-in to ensure its survival. Folks chosen can expect these trees to be planted starting in November.

Bonus: There will be a Rotary Tree Towns Info Night on Tuesday, June 25 at TailGate Brewery from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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