To the editor:
Thank you to the Daily Journal for your very nice editorial Oct. 16 in support of the Franklin urban forest.
To inform the community of the progress, I am pleased to report that a ceremonial tree planting event was conducted Nov. 1 at the site for the forest at the corner of West South and South Hemphill streets. Participants in attendance were Mayor Joe McGuinness, members of the Franklin City Council and board of works, Pam Ault, vice president of the parks and recreation board of directors, board member Dr. John Shafer and Director Chip Orner. Also in attendance and participating were Mr. Larry Nun, president of the tree board, Dr. Michael Dana, dean of the horticultural school at Purdue University and representatives from the Franklin Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, the Johnson County Community Foundation, Franklin College, the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association and several interested members of the Franklin community.
The trees were planted adjacent to the nature trails, which had been marked by Meg Jones Goss, and mulched by the park and recreation employees and several members of the Franklin Community Church.
The next major planting will occur next spring when 1,100 seedlings from the DNR nursery and 120 trees will be planted. For that event, we will be making plans to organize volunteers from local schools and organizations to help in the process.
Also, a fundraising plan will be presented to allow interested parties to create a memorial to a loved one or a friend or family member. The memorials may be for a specific tree or a bench or other options. The park and recreation board has accepted a significant memorial contribution to make the nature trails. The mulched walking trails will be named “The Jordan A. Crist Nature Trail System.”
To date the project has been supported by numerous groups and individuals. We envision future opportunities for volunteers to invest in the forest via donations of time of money. Donations made to the Franklin Urban Forest Fund at the community foundation will be tax-deductible. This project is for and will be created by the Franklin community in cooperation with the Franklin Park and Recreation Department for enjoyment by future generations of visitors and residents