Galesburg's five-year program surpasses goal, plants 112 trees in 2022

Staff Reports
The Register-Mail

GALESBURG — Project 350, a city initiative to plant 350 trees in Galesburg parks and city terraces, wrapped up its work for 2022 Nov. 4 at Lincoln Park.

Community volunteers planted eight maple trees in areas where a large number of ash trees were lost near the gazebo and horseshoe pits. Two serviceberry trees were also planted to anchor the entrance sign into Lake Storey at Machen Drive. City employees assisted by augering the holes for the larger ball and burlap trees.

Community volunteers planted 10 trees in Lincoln Park and Lake Storey on Friday afternoon. From left, with a Green Mountain Sugar Maple, are Tom Engebretson, Mayor Peter Schwartzman, Keith Majors, Mike Panther, Stuart Allison, Pat Trant, Harrel Timmons, Dan Thompson, Terry Bradshaw, Jeff Douglas and Jane Bradshaw. Not pictured: Jane Simkins.
(Photo: Submitted photo)

Project 350, projected to be a five-year effort with 70 trees planted per year, is ahead of schedule with 112 trees put in the ground in 2022.

Tree locations in parks include:

• Lake Storey Park (16)

• Lincoln Park (15)

• Kiwanis Park (5)

• Standish Park (3)

• HT Custer Park (3)

• Colton Park (1)

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Fourteen trees were planted on terraces in downtown Galesburg. Resident requests for trees on terraces resulted in 55 plantings in various city neighborhoods at no cost to the homeowner other than a commitment to water the tree. Approximately 30 trees were watered on a bi-weekly basis by Mayor Peter Schwartzman and a small crew of volunteers using a truck donated by resident Gary Nelson. City of Galesburg Parks and Recreation employees water trees located in city parks. 

Project 350 was initiated in 2022 by Schwartzman and relies heavily on volunteers coordinated by Special Projects Coordinator Tom Simkins, with the support and guidance of city employees in the Parks and Street Divisions. Trees were supplied by Timanda Nursery in Knoxville, GreenView Nursery in Dunlap, Hoerr Nursery in Peoria, Greenthumbers in Davenport, and the local Menards and Lowe’s. 

Project 350 is funded by a $50,000 commitment in the city budget and a $5,000 donation by Knox College. The program and budget are on track to continue toward the planting of another 238 trees in the coming years. Residents desiring to have a tree planted on the city terraces adjacent to their property in 2023 should contact Simkins at (309) 299-6959.