Second Annual Root Ball

By on 8 February, 2012 in Carole King, Fun, Historic Midtown, Outdoors with 1 Comment

The upcoming second annual Root Ball on March 10 will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Montgomery Trees. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and recap a decade of dedicated service by Montgomery Trees. Montgomery Trees was founded in 2001 as the Montgomery Tree Committee by a group of what one would call dedicated tree-huggers notably in the midtown neighborhoods. The organization’s mission is to promote, enhance and protect the urban forest and the plan of action to achieve those goals is to:

  • Purchase and plant trees.
  • Educate the public.
  • Promote environmentally sound economic development.
  • Increase awareness of watershed and green space importance.
  • Encourage identification and care of significant trees.

One of the initial projects the Committee undertook in 2002 was a federal-grant funded survey of the state of Montgomery’s urban canopy. The final grant report strongly suggested that the city hire an urban forester to manage Montgomery’s dwindling canopy. In 2004, Russell Stringer came on board with the City of Montgomery to nurture our existing tree inventory and to initiate an aggressive tree planting program. Through his efforts supported by Montgomery Trees, Russell estimates that over 5,000 trees to date have been planted to renew Montgomery’s tree canopy.

Streetscape lined with newly planted trees to provide a street canopy.

Montgomery Trees initiated the Cypress Creek and Pond awareness programs with lectures and guided tours of this rich environmental resource just adjacent to Downtown. This program eventually became its own entity, Montgomery Nature Conservancy, working to create the Cypress Creek Nature Park educational facility.

One of the most successful programs has been the Legacy Tree program, which offers a tree dedicated in a public area such as a park in honor or memory of a loved one. This

The Legacy Tree program is a great way to commemorate a loved one who loved the outdoors.

project also includes the Fallen Officers Memorial, a colonnade of trees located on the Upper Wetumpka Road planted in honor of those who died in the line of duty.

Ten years later, Montgomery Trees has evolved into a notable environmental activist group in the River Region. One of the founding fathers and past president of Montgomery Trees, Larry Grewelle, reflects on the organization’s work:

Montgomery Trees has made the greatest impact on improving the natural environment in Montgomery than any other group of citizens, ever!…notably by encouraging the city to hire an Urban Forester and saving Cypress Pond from commercial development.

Montgomery Trees operates with a dedicated core of volunteers who plant trees, write grants, man information groups at events, conduct training courses, fundraise, and work with neighborhoods and schools, just to name a few of the needed tasks! Application for membership in the Montgomery Tree Committee is open to anyone.

The Root Ball will be held at Arrowhead Country Club on Saturday evening March 10th from 6:30 until 10:30. The evening will include a buffet dinner, cash bar, silent auction and dancing to the music of the Yard Dogs. The $50 ticket will go to support the many ongoing projects of Montgomery Trees. Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased at www.montgomerytree.org or by mailing a check to P.O. Box 70333, Montgomery, AL 36107. If you’re branching out for more information, call 221-5231. The evening proves to be a trunkful of good fun with a lot of shady characters!

Carole King (not the singer, just the hummer) enjoys midtown living from South Capitol Parkway in Capitol Heights where she has lived for 25+years. Carole has been the historic properties curator for the Landmarks Foundation that manages Old Alabama Town for 28 years and is passionate about neighborhoods, their architectural character, their people, and their preservation!

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  1. Dianne Bush says:

    We would love to see a table(or two or three) of Mid Town residents at the Root Ball. Look around your neighborhoods – LeGrand Park and the many new trees that line the streets of Midtown Montgomery – all of those trees have a price tag, and your support at this event will be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance! DKB

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