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Matching grant could help add more new trees to downtown Danville

New trees are coming to downtown Danville with a little help from the community and a grant from Kentucky Utilities.
Department Chair of Anthropology and Sociology at Centre College William Beau Weston has been working for four years on his vision of planting 500 trees in downtown Danville within 10 years.
Over the past two years, he has planted 90 trees on Main Street, Fourth Street and Third Street, he said.
Weston said this fall, he plans to plant anywhere between 40 or 50 trees in the areas of Third and Second streets.
“This is a wonderful joint effort of many individuals and organizations,” Weston said.
The effort involves the city of Danville, which provides labor to plant the trees; the county extension office, which chooses the species,; the Danville Beatification Committee, which picks the spots to plant the trees; and the Wilderness Trace Community Foundation, which handles the money.
“If all goes well, Kentucky Utilities gives us a grant to match what we raise locally of up to $5,000 each year,” Weston said.
Last year, he said the Garden Club of Danville made the largest gift. In addition to their donation, there were more than 30 individuals and a few businesses that donated. The total raised last year was $4,745. The money raised last year will go toward trees planted this fall.
Weston is applying for the Kentucky Utilities grant again this year to raise money for the trees planted next fall. The grant from KU is a match of whatever is raised locally. Weston is asking for donations as the deadline for the grant application is Nov. 1, which is earlier than usual.
Weston asked Monday for the Danville City Commission’s blessing in applying for the grant.
The commissioners agreed with the idea and gave Weston the go-ahead.
For next year, Weston said the trees planted will be a mixture of species, especially native ones, and ones that will be suitable for high-traffic streets.
“We are looking to have sizable trees — 3-inch diameter, about 10-feet high,” he said. “These will cost about $200 each. Since we hope to have a matching grant, $100 will buy a tree.”
SO YOU KNOW
To donate toward the matching grant for new trees in downtown Danville, checks should be made out to Wilderness Trace Community Foundation with “Tree Fund” in the memo line. Cash donations are also accepted. Cash or checks can be given or mailed to William Beau Weston, 143 Mildred Court, Danville, KY 40422. Donations can also be given to Danville City Attorney Steven Dexter.