Letter: City’s parks department should be commended

To the editor:

It is hard to believe that is has been six years since we started planting the trees in the former flood plain area. The time was stretched out due to unanticipated and unavoidable delays in removing some of the flooded homes. The properties have now all been cleared, and we are entering the final phase of planting.

On April 23, we will be planting an additional 250 trees, and we will hope for a large turn out of volunteers to assist in the project. We know we will have a group of athletes from Franklin College helping out in the process. The athletes will be there due to the cooperative efforts of Athletic Director Kerry Prather and his wonderful coaching staff.

Planting will start with a training session on planting techniques conducted by staff from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at 9 a.m. at the southwest corner of Dunn and South streets. Tools will be provided, but bringing your own shovel or rake might be helpful.

This will hopefully be our last major planting effort. We will be having a planting in the fall of this year when we will be moving some of the first planted seedlings to other locations in the forest area. This procedure was planned initially when trees were planted closely together to encourage tall growth from seedling trees that are now large enough to be moved to fill in open space.

The Franklin Parks Department has done a super job of maintaining the forest area and keeping the walking trails open and available. They have also helped with the planting by digging the holes in advance and in some cases completing the planting when volunteers were not available.

Chip Orner, superintendent and his assistant Rocky Stultz have been a great help in the planning and implementing stages. And to date, hundreds of volunteers have assisted in the actual job of putting the trees in the ground. To date we have planted some 2,000 trees with some 26 species represented. Some of the species are not otherwise found or are of short supply in Franklin.

For example, American Beech, Kentucky Coffee tree and Golden Raintree. We have planted no Ash and American Elm trees.

Hoping to see a large turn out April 23.

Jim Crane