Rotary Club plants trees with pledge ‘to make a difference’
The Springfield Rotary Club planted 26 trees in the local Sticker Field, one of our community’s wonderful playgrounds, last week — one for each of its 26 members.
Thirteen Black Hills Spruce evergreens were planted along the southeastern border of Sticker Field in the foreground of the railroad tracks; and the remaining deciduous trees — Autumn Blaze Maple, Fall Fiesta Maple, Skyline Locust and Hybrid Elm — were planted in the area of the bleachers in the northeast section of the field; and by the concession stand in the northwest corner of the field.
All of the club’s members participated in the project in various ways from the planning through execution of the project.
The club was successful in acquiring a $3,000 grant from the Rotary International Foundation, and the local club contributed approximately $2,000 along with in-kind labor. Springfield Public Works and Public Utilities employees also helped with the project, identifying where to plant trees due to irrigation and underground infrastructure, and brought in mulch for the final step in the planting.
Trees play an important role in sustaining a healthy environment. Every tree planted by a Rotarian is part of a large scale effort by members around the world to make a significant impact on the environment. Trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe. In addition, the deciduous trees will provide shade during warm, sunny summer days and a blaze of color during autumn.
The club’s tree project was viewed favorably by the Rotary International Foundation Grant Committee and was in Rotary’s focus. International President Ian H.S. Riseley of Australia chose “Rotary,” Making a Difference” as his theme for the 2017-18 year, and made the case that protecting the environment and curbing climate change are essential to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service. The president challenged every Rotary club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between the start of the Rotary year on July 1, 2017, and Earth Day on April 22, 2018. “It is my hope that the result of that effort will be far greater than the environmental benefit that those 1.2 million new trees will bring,” Riseley said. “I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”