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May 14, 2014

Grant allows Center Line tree program to take root

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

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New trees were planted along Warren Boulevard in Center Line May 3, thanks to $3,000 in grant funding from the DTE Energy Foundation.

CENTER LINE  — A neighborhood tree-planting program is underway in Center Line.

City Manager John Michrina said it’s the direct result of a partnership between residents and the city, made possible through a grant from the DTE Energy Foundation administered through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

A total of 40 maple, locust and crabapple trees were planted May 3 on residential properties and in the middle islands of the city’s Warren Boulevard.         

The $3,000 grant paid for the trees, while Center Line’s Department of Public Works moved them and watered them after they were planted.  The city contracted with American Lawn Corp. to plant the trees and educate the residents about proper care and maintenance.

Michrina said residents who agreed to have a tree planted on their property went through a class that outlined proper care and pruning techniques. They also learned what to watch for, in terms of pests and disease. He said the grant required the trees to be planted away from the front median so as not to pose problems for city sidewalks, underground infrastructure and utilities.

“This is definitely a win-win, and I appreciate the residents that have agreed to step up and be a part of the program,” Michrina said. “This way, someone gets a beautiful tree in their yard and the city gets the benefit of a tree that’s visible from the street.

“It is a proven fact that full-sized trees increase property values, both for the individual home and the neighborhood as a whole, and it makes our city more attractive and healthier,” Michrina said.

Center Line Mayor David Hanselman said the tree-planting program is the city’s largest in recent memory.

“We’ve had to take down so many trees because of the ash borer problem, and years ago, we had that Dutch elm disease,” Hanselman said. “We keep on losing trees. We wanted to start reforesting the city and keep it green.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.