Consumers Energy grant supports forestry

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The city of Muskegon planted 25 trees in various right-of-way terraces throughout the city, including along the Muskegon Community College student lot. Courtesy Consumers Energy

Muskegon neighborhoods are surrounded by new trees, thanks to a $2,500 grant from the Consumers Energy Forestry Department.

The grant was awarded to the Muskegon Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Michigan Forestry and Parks Association.

The city planted 25 trees in various right-of-way terraces throughout the city, including along the Muskegon Community College student lot in downtown Muskegon and also where residents requested.

“Consumers emphasizes appropriate tree planting locations, including consideration of overhead and underground utilities,” said Deborah Nichols, Consumers Energy’s forestry strategic communicator. “We follow the ‘right tree, right place’ guidelines of the National Arbor Day Foundation.”

The city selected seven varieties of trees from a local nursery. The trees are among 300 to 400 the city plants every year and are part of a long-term investment DPW maintenance worker Dave Bailey said can take up to 50 years to fully mature.

“The young plantings are nurtured with water bags at the tree roots to provide consistent water and nutrients the first year or so,” he said. “Studies have shown that communities with plenty of trees add to the residents’ overall health, in addition to other advantages.”

Consumers Energy assists local municipalities through its Community Street and Boulevard Tree Planting Grant Program. The utility funds the annual planting of 1,000 trees in communities throughout its service areas.

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