Brundidge Rotarians plant trees as part of international challenge

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged all 1.2 million Rotarians to each plant one tree between the beginning of the Rotary year on July 1, 2017 and Earth Day 2018 on April 22.

In making the challenge to Rotarians worldwide, Riseley said environmental degradation and global climate change are serious threats to everyone. Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which slows global warming.

“President Riseley said the time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not Rotary’s concern,” said Rotarian Dixie Shehane. “Our club agrees that environmental sustainability is everyone’s concern and we strongly support the Rotary Tree Planting Initiative.”

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Once the challenge was issued, the Brundidge Rotarians immediately gave their support to the Rotary Tree Planting Initiative. On Tuesday, with the assistance of the City of Brundidge, the Rotarians planted 16 dogwood trees along Veterans Boulevard. The dogwoods replaced the crepe myrtles that had become root bound, Shehane said.

“We have 24 Rotarians so we will plant eight more trees later this week,” she said. “Five Japanese maples will be planted on the grounds of the future city hall and three sugar maples will be planted at the historic Bass House.”

Olaf Lieb was the first Rotarian to put a shove in the ground. Other Rotarians gave their encouragement to the planting of the dogwoods. They laughing agreed that each Rotarian should have his or her own tree and the responsibility of maintaining it.

Rotarian Buriece Gracey said dogwoods are slow growing trees.

“Sleep, creep and leap is the rate of growth,” she said. “That’s what I’ve been told.”

No matter the rate of growth for the dogwoods or the maples, the Rotarians said the planting of the trees will not only fulfill the club’s commitment to Riseley’s challenge, it will be visible recognition of the club’s responsibility to the people and to the earth as well.

The Rotarians expressed appreciation to the City of Brundidge for its support of the Rotary Tree Planting Initiative and especially Steve Roberts, Timmy Keel and Kendall Gilbert who provided much of the physical labor for the project.