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Lions Club project moving forward with 11 trees
Lions Clubs International President Wing-Kun Tam unveiled in July 2011, a 1 million Tree Planting Project as part of his theme, "I Believe."
It was a project the Willows Lions Club embraced, even though they got a later start than other clubs.
On Friday, the Lions Club planted 11 young crape myrtle trees on city property northwest of the Public Library.
The club plans to plant an additional 20 trees in the parks and throughout the city in the coming months.
"There are 1.3 million Lions around the world," said member Joe Hinton. "The idea was if every Lion plants a tree, then it we would surpass the president's goal."
By 2012, Lions Clubs around the world reported they had exceeded the challenge by planting more than four million trees worldwide.
By the end of this year, it is anticipated that more than 10 million trees will have been planted, Lions officials said.
Willows Public Works crews did the groundwork for Friday's project, including removing the old juniper trees, a coniferous plant similar to the cypress.
The trees had become overgrown and crowded, and require more maintenance and water than the newly planted crape myrtle's, which are chiefly known for their colorful and long-lasting flowers.
"This will be more aesthetically pleasing and far less maintenance," said James Corneliussen.
The city also installed a trip system to water the plants, and will fill in the area around the trees with rubberized park, funded by a recycling grant.
"I love it," said Ranee Polit, a Public Works employee who helped plant and stake the trees. "It's going to look so nice when it's all done."
Lions members Hinton, LaVonne Hinton, Leon Thur, Peggy White, Jessie Rosenquist and Jamie Hart were involved Friday's project.
The Lions Club purchased the trees, which were delivered to the Public Works Department.
Lavonne Hinton said the club started their project later than others because of the extensive work needed to be completed by the city for this project.
The remaining trees will be ordered after they work out with the city what kind and where trees are needed.
"We don't know what kind they will be yet," she said. "But we will probably put some in the parks around town."