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Dysart Heritage Arboretum

August 12, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

As the Dysart Tree Board found itself running out of room to plant memorial trees in 2004, a solution came along to dedicate the Heritage Arboretum just off of Clark Street in town,

"The park was getting quite full at the time, we didn't have many spaces left on the trail and we were getting so many requests for memorial trees," Cathy Wieck, a member of the Tree Board said. "Joe Coffey was our city council liaison at the time and suggested we develop an arboretum."

The location served no other purpose at the time, according to Wieck. A well occupies the area and drainage issues prevented building on the property. The City of Dysart would mow the area and maintain it. Coffey's suggestion led to the Dysart Heritage Arboretum to be established.

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Today, the arboretum consists of over 75 varieties of trees and bushes dedicated to loved ones planted over the years. A plague is planted under each tree for the memory of a loved one. For its early days, Thomas and Eunice Pingenot, the previous owners of John's Qwik Stop, donated money for these memorial trees. Community members also donated trees for memorials. In addition to the trees, nature lovers can also enjoy a small bridge, gazebo and sign was provided by the Norma Anders funds she provided to the city.

Members of the Tree Board take on the responsibility of maintenance, including weeding, watering, trimming trees and identifying dead trees. Two work Saturdays are delegated each year to trim off suckers from the trees. The board will also be painting the gazebo and bridge next year. Since the arboretum is still on city property, mowing is still performed by city staff, who also keep an eye on the condition of the trees.

"We do occasionally have to replace a tree," Wieck said. "It's a memory for someone, so when the family comes, we want them to see their loved one's trees. It means a lot to them."

The Dysart Tree Board plans to continue maintaining the arboretum for the foreseeable future. As of right now, there are limited room for trees or bushes, so large plantings may be years away unless several trees do die.

"The birds love them and we really do think about the wildlife here," Wieck said. "This is an oasis of peace here. It serves as an educational facility for people trying to choose trees for their yards. We can show them any possible tree for this area. Trees improve our environment. They help us breath and great for physical/mental health."

According to the Dysart City page The Dysart Tree Board will "pay for one-half the cost of an approved tree up to a sum of $15 when planted within accordance of the Dysart City Planting Ordinance. A maximum of 5 trees per yard, per year, may be funded. Citizens should bring a copy of their sales slips to City Hall for review and approval by the Tree Board."



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