Gays Mills was named a 2016 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.
The Tree City USA recognition was achieved by meeting the program’s four requirements:
• A tree board or department
•A tree care ordinance
•An annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation
“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Arbor Day Foundation President Dan Lambe. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”
Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly plated and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
Gays Mills Volunteer Forester Cindy Kohles has been busy working with other volunteer groups, like the Nifty Neighbors 4-H club to get new trees in the ground.
The Kickapoo Cultural Exchange offered grant money towards new trees recently. Kohles noted that many residents chose one or two trees and some like Carol Martin decided on a variety of trees.
“A huge variety isn’t suitable for this sandy of soil,” Kohles observed of the North Gays Mills location “but we are able to plant a windbreak of white pines, two swamp white oaks, and a ginko.”
Some other trees that have been planted in the North Gays Mills location as well as in down town have included London Plane Tree, Swamp White Oak, Ginko, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Tulip Poplar, Amur Cork Tree as well as some Hybrid Elms.
“I think it’s a great thing we are doing,” Village President Harry Heisz said “we are able to replace bad trees with new good ones. It keeps our land scape and town looking beautiful.”