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Tree nursery plan on hold, City hopes it will take root next spring

Monday, December 10, 2012

The City of Storm Lake's plans to establish a tree nursery with assistance from Buena Vista University science students have been put on hold, but the city hopes to continue the effort next spring.

"It seems like the student support has waned a little bit. I'm sure that with this time of year and preparing for semester exams, there can be a lot of distractions," City Manager Jim Patrick said. "It is still something that we would really love to do, but in all reality it will probably be put on hold for the winter, and we will continue to talk with the advisors at BVU."

The project could get a go ahead "at any time," since the City already has the land available near their water treatment facilities, he said.

"We just need to figure out what kind of trees we will need the most, how to buy them and get them planted and how to best maintain them," Patrick said.

The plan for a tree museum was first discussed last summer. With an aging tree population in the parks and on residential street parkings, and some concerns over pests that could threaten certain species of trees in the region in the future, City officials hope to be able to grow their own stock of a variety of trees that can be transplanted when a need arises. According to Patrick, the effort could save the City funds and allow for quicker replacement of dying or storm-damaged trees, while giving university students an opportunity for experience in working with and researching a large-scale horticulture project.

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