42 Arborvitae were planted about ninety feet straight north of the car lot, known as Mr. Auto, on Wednesday morning, June 17. Coordinators Ken Pitzen and B. J. Kruse, and seven members of the Stacyville Shooting Stars 4-H Club, planted a double row of four-foot trees. The project was possible through a $1000 Grant provided by the Alliant Energy “Trees for Forever” program and a $300 donation from the Stacyville Community Club. Photo by Mary Blake

Ken Pitzen is no stranger to Alliant Energy’s “Trees Forever” program. If my memory serves me correctly, I recall capturing other “tree plantings” as Pitzen steered the managerial effort and work necessary to get the job done time and time again.

Windbreaks were first put into place with the Pitzen Addition development, southwest of Stacyville, over three decades ago. Then another major windbreak of trees benefitted the Stacyville Community Nursing Home. Another place that was supplied with shade was the strip just south of the Stacyville Laundry and Car Wash. After the three major City Park phases, Pitzen put the finish touches on the north end of the City Park, following the removal of deceased and old trees, by planting new varieties of maples and oaks.

Pitzen’s latest effort occurred Wednesday morning, June 17, at the Mr. Auto site in the Stacyville Industrial Park. The $1000 Grant provided by Alliant Energy’s “Trees Forever Program” was utilized by planting a double row of American Arborvitae, sometimes called northern white Cedar. The healthy, sturdy species were planted approximately ninety feet straight north of the Mr. Auto building. A $300 donation from the Stacyville Community Club represents money raised from the Brat Daze 2019 celebration.

B. J. Kruse, a leader in agricultural and preservation projects through Future Farmers of America (FFA) while in St. Ansgar High School, was the adult expert and overseer of seven energetic members of the Stacyville Shooting Stars 4-H Club. Club members were down on their hands and knees carrying potted Arborvitae to the drilled holes, which Noah Michels provided with his dad’s David pole digger machine. The Michels family was well represented as Christian and Korben were among the Shooting Stars 4-H Club helping plant the double row of Arborvitae. The colorful mulch was packed carefully and solidly around each Arborvitae by the 4-H Club, again on their hands and knees. The trees will serve in the future as a snow fence and windbreak for the Mr. Auto site.

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