For the Beauty of Hettinger is an organization dedicated to the beautification of Hettinger. While the organization is known more for their work with local flowerbeds, they recently have decided to tackle the dead tree epidemic in Hettinger.
Recently, the organization was awarded a $10,000 matching grant from the North Dakota Forest Service to achieve their goal of cleaning up dead and dying trees on Hettinger’s public lands, according to For the Beauty of Hettinger President Jackie Hedstrom.
“This year, we are specifically tackling dead tree removal,” said Hedstrom. “We were inspired by the people who approached us and said, ‘there are so many dead trees. It’s so expensive to remove them. What do we do?’”
To achieve their goal of a more beautiful town, For the Beauty of Hettinger worked with the city, the park board, and the tree board to find the matching funds and volunteers for the grant.
“The Hettinger Park Board and Tree Board are offering their help as much as they can with volunteers, equipment, and tree identification knowledge,” said Hedstrom.
Once funding was secured, an initial survey of the town found more than 80 trees identified as dead, poor, or very poor on Hettinger’s public lands. In total, the grant will facilitate the removal of 40 dead trees. Hedstrom said the tree removal process is planned for late October.
“Right now, we are waiting on the tree removal contractor and the North Dakota forester,” said Hedstrom. “Then, when we get organized, people will start to see this tree removal business with volunteers around the city.”
Eventually, For the Beauty of Hettinger wants to find a grant to replace the dead trees with new saplings, said Hedstrom. If they find a tree replacement grant, the organization hopes to let landowners give their input on what kind of tree should replace the old one.
“If there is an adjacent land owner or someone nearby where a tree was removed, we would give them an opportunity, within the city guidelines, to choose a tree that they might want to [replace the dead tree with],” she said.
Giving landowners a say in the replacement tree would hopefully make them invested in the success of the new tree, said Hedstrom. The more people involved, the better.
“Maybe [the landowner] would help us out by watering it and tending it,” she said. “We want to get everybody involved.”