2017-09-14 / Living

Library park being ‘brought back to life’ by determined volunteers

810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com

A group of 19 volunteers planted maple trees of varying colors and hybrids to help beautify the Burton Memorial Library park grounds. 
Photos by Tanya Terry A group of 19 volunteers planted maple trees of varying colors and hybrids to help beautify the Burton Memorial Library park grounds. Photos by Tanya Terry BURTON — The Friends of the Burton Memorial Library (FBML) were recently able take part in a project which greatly helps beautify the Burton Memorial Library grounds. On Sept. 9, FBML and other volunteers were able to plant six new maple trees of various colors and hybrids on the grounds of the Mary Webb Park, which were kindly donated to them.

“The Friends have long time done work inside and outside the library,” said Sadonna Myers, president of the Friends of Burton Memorial Library. “When work was done to the park, it was torn up,” Myers added. “The Friends replaced a park bench that was broken during the engineering work at our own cost. The city put everything back together last year. Our goal was to get it back to looking like a park.”

The Friends began tackling their goal by planting one tree on July 1. The tree was donated by the Master Gardner Club, which four people in The Friends belong to. All summer long, the Friends had been watering the tree and other plants on the library grounds, as well as checking the plant at the front door.

Myers and The Friends’ vice president, Mary Down were admiring the first tree when a man pulled up in a truck. “When he got out, I saw it was Dan Webb,” Myers said. “He said we did a good job. He grew up on the property. Mary Webb, which the park is named after, and her husband, Rudy, were long time supporters of the library. Then, the family donated the property to the library. Dan Webb asked us if we wanted more trees. We went to the nursery and picked the trees out that day.”

Originally, the trees were going to be planted July 7. “We got 3 ½ inches of rain,” Myers said. “It turned the park into a mess. Everything had to be cancelled. Then, I remembered I heard you should not plant trees in months that don’t have an ‘r.’ I thought that makes sense because May-Aug. it’s hotter and drier, and it adds more stress to the trees. Plus, who wants to sacrifice their whole summer to water trees?”

Finally, on Sept. 9, 19 volunteers were able to plant the trees, including people Down knew as a former volleyball coach. The volunteers arrived around 9:30 a.m. on what turned out to be a pleasant day. The volunteers received a tutorial from Down, who is a master gardener.

Like worker bees, the group then planted two new red sunset maples, two Regal Petticoats, one Red Matador and one Autumn Blaze. The city’s DPW had already dug the holes. Genesee County Commissioner Ellen Ellenburg and Councilwoman Tina Conley, who is the city’s liaison to the library, also contributed their efforts. When they were done, the group felt accomplished.

“Mr. Webb drove by and said they looked absolutely wonderful,” Down said. “It’s going to be such a great reading park!”

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