Baxter plants 50 trees on Main Street

Imagine driving down a tree-lined boulevard, a canopy of trees creating a shady lane of beauty. That’s what the City of Baxter is hoping for.

The city recently received a “Trees for Kids” grant from the State of Iowa for 50 trees, and on Wednesday, the entire Baxter High School was out around town planting the trees. Plantings were made at Restland Cemetery, the school playground and on both sides of South Main Street in Baxter. Approximately 150 volunteers, including high school students, teachers and city employees helped with the planting.

Trees along Main Street in the utility easement area will provide shade and community beautification. Trees in these areas have died over the years and no replacement program was in place.

One of the city’s goals, according to Shawn Fuller, Baxter Public Works director, was to help complete the tree canopy along Main Street.

“Not only is this tree canopy visibly noticeable and appreciated by residents and visitors to Baxter, there are many economic, community and environmental benefits that can be attributed to these shade trees,” Fuller said.

A recent inventory of Baxter’s trees by Laura Wagner, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau, determined that a majority of the trees in Baxter are maples. Wagner recommended the city plant a more diverse culture of tree species. The species planted on Wednesday included tulip trees, black gum, honey locust, hackberry, gingko, heritage river birch, sugar maple, scarlet oak, American linden, American hornbeam and serviceberry.