Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Branching Out

 Federal grant funds Canton Township tree replanting project

Canton Township officials dug in during a special event during the Annual Fishing Derby last week.

Township Supervisor Anne Marie Graham-Hudak was joined by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, along with members of the township board of trustees and local residents to plant six trees to honor the six U.S. military branches. The tree planting project was funded by $20,000 in federal grant funds that were administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to replant some of the hundreds of trees  damaged or destroyed in and around Heritage Park during the August 2023 tornado that briefly touched down in the community.

Branches of the military honored with a Columnar Oak tree in Heritage Park near the township veteran’s memorial included: the Army; Marine Corps; Navy; Air Force; Space Force; and Coast Guard.  

Funding for this grant comes from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program, which requires one-to-one matching funds for projects on non-federal, public lands or lands open to the public. The Canton tree restoration project utilized the grant funds to add 83 trees to Heritage Park and 21 trees to Griffin Park. Five species of new trees were introduced that are not part of the current township inventory. These include the American Beech, Bitternut Hickory, Black Tupelo, Cucumbertree Magnolia, and Katsura. All of these trees were selected for their ability to thrive in soil with fluctuating moisture and salt conditions, to adapt to changing environmental conditions, as well as their ability to withstand storm damage, officials said.

“Canton is grateful to have received this grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that will help support our goal to create a greener, more resilient, healthier community for everyone,” stated Marie Graham-Hudak. “These federal funds have helped the township replace the damaged trees in our parks that play such an essential role in contributing to the overall aesthetics and livability of our community.”

Canton Parks and Planning Services staff collaborated on this tree restoration plan to plant a total of 100 trees in Heritage Park and Griffin Park this spring.