More trees will be planted by the city

For the seventh year, Danville has been awarded a Plant for the Planet grant from Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric companies.

The city was awarded a $4,000 grant to be used for Danville’s annual tree planting program and requires a 50/50 match “which will be provided by donations to the Tree Committee, as in previous years,” wrote city engineer Josh Morgan in a city agenda request.

“The primary focus of this year’s planting will be the new trail along Ky. 2168 and filling in gaps in the previous year’s plantings.”

Beau Weston, who for years has worked to increase the city’s tree population in part by collecting private donations for the city’s Tree Fund said, “We did ask KU for $5,000 (the maximum). As they have the past few years, they gave us $4,000, for which we are grateful.”

Weston said, “Fortunately, the generous citizens of Danville made up the difference, so we will once again have $10,000 to buy trees with. This normally yields about 50 trees. These will be about 2.5” caliper (diameter), and 10 to 12 feet high.”

“We plant in cold weather. Thus, in my way of counting, this money is for the Christmas 2021 planting, which can take anywhere from November to February, depending on the weather.” Weston added, “We do not purchase the trees until we are ready to plant, meaning sometime mid-autumn.”

The species for this year’s plantings will be selected by County Extension Agent Alexis Sheffield and Beautification Committee member Janet Hamner. “We favor shade-giving natives,” Weston said.

He added, “With Earl Coffey’s ascension to the city manager job, Josh Morgan has ably stepped in as the leader of the city’s part of the planting and maintenance.”

Weston said, “It is important for Danville to keep planting trees because, as the proverb goes, the best time to plant trees was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

According to KU’s news release, “Partnering with organizations for tree planting efforts is a valuable component of protecting and expanding the tree canopy in the communities we serve,” said Angie M. Evans, LG&E and KU vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs. “We’re so thankful for the work of these organizations to support the environment and enhance our surroundings.”

The grants, which are awarded through the LG&E and KU Foundation, provide matching funding in amounts of $500 to $5,000 to organizations with a history of successful tree plantings in the LG&E and KU service territories.

LG&E and KU’s Plant for the Planet matching grant program, which began in 2009, has contributed to more than 56,000 plantings. These projects have occurred in a range of urban and rural areas that offer public access, including parks and nature preserves.