Donors aim to green up Superior
Fourteen trees vandalized in Superior over the Fourth of July weekend have been replaced, thanks to local businesses. "We've been part of this community since 1932 and it's our way of giving back," said Sandy Zander, assistant vice president of c...
Fourteen trees vandalized in Superior over the Fourth of July weekend have been replaced, thanks to local businesses.
"We’ve been part of this community since 1932 and it’s our way of giving back," said Sandy Zander, assistant vice president of compliance at Superior Choice Credit Union. "And it sort of ties in with the philosophy of credit unions, people helping people."
Positively Superior magazine also donated toward replacing the trees along Hughitt Avenue between North 12th and Broadway streets.
"For us to be able to contribute in a small way for something that will give back for 100 years, kind of a cool thing for us to be able to do," said Publisher Jay Ott. He grew up six blocks from the site where the saplings were destroyed.
"When I heard about this, I know how city budgets operate," Ott said. "They can take care of things that need to get taken care of but when something gets vandalized, that’s not in their budget."
The city’s been a great supporter of Positively Superior magazine, according to Ott.
"We’re happy to donate and I’ll drive by the trees for the next 20 years now and watch them grow," Ott said.
City Councillor Tom Fennessey presented each of the businesses with certificates naming them friends of the urban forest Thursday while city workers removed damaged trees and replaced them with new ones.
"On behalf of the mayor, and the City Council, the city, the Tree Board and most importantly the neighbors in this area, we graciously thank you for the donation that you’ve done to re-tree this whole boulevard," he said.
Fennessey was impressed the businesses came forward on their own and offered a hand.
"Honestly we just thought it was such a sad thing that a living, beautiful tree or a series of trees was destroyed," said SCCU President Gary Elliott. "We just felt like we needed to help."
Media attention played a factor in the business’ decision to donate.
"When I saw that on the news it really touched me, the neighbors and how disappointed they were, so I brought it to the execs and they were all for it," Zander said. "I’m really happy they received it so well."
New trees are usually planted in the spring, but the city made an exception for the businesses.
"This is a very special donation," said Mary Morgan, parks, recreation and forestry director.
The saplings are container-grown trees, not the bare root stock the city typically plants in the spring. These trees already have a good start, Morgan said. The city planted five different species to replace the vandalized saplings, including Kentucky coffee, honey locust, magnolia and hackberry trees.
Morgan said the $2,100 cost for the planting was split three ways - $700 each from SCCU, Positively Superior Magazine and a third business that asked to remain anonymous. SCCU also donated an additional $1,800 that will be used for upcoming tree planting projects.
"I just appreciate the local businesses stepping forward, and I’m really hoping that maybe this encourages other businesses and other organizations to step forward and help assist with the tree planting program within Superior because of the benefits," Fennessey said.
Anyone interested can call Morgan at 715-395-7270, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or peruse tree planting options online through the city website, www.ci.superior.wi.us .