save for wes
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Student Matti Renikow digs a whole with her Environmental science teacher Cathy Smiley Thursday in Marinette.  Locust tree were planted by the city of Marinette with a grant written by Todd Lapacz, city forester, between Marinette High School and the Community REC Center, Thursday in Marinette. The trees were paid for by the American Transmission Company (ATC.) They will filter the water coming off the parking lot. Locust tree are planted as they allow security lights to penetrate the canopy. Maples were planted away from the lights.
save for wes

EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Student Matti Renikow digs a whole with her Environmental science teacher Cathy Smiley Thursday in Marinette.  Locust tree were planted by the city of Marinette with a grant written by Todd Lapacz, city forester, between Marinette High School and the Community REC Center, Thursday in Marinette. The trees were paid for by the American Transmission Company (ATC.) They will filter the water coming off the parking lot. Locust tree are planted as they allow security lights to penetrate the canopy. Maples were planted away from the lights.

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MARINETTE — A small group of Marinette High School students were able to get out of the house to plant trees near the school Thursday.

City Forester Todd Lapacz said the American Transmission Company (ATC) offers grants for any city with ATC lines to plant trees and other vegetation.

“Their main push on it is to plant the right tree in the right place, keeping away from power lines and nothing planted under ATC lines,” he said.

Lapacz said he has always enjoyed doing projects with students, “So I figured we would make this into sort of an Arbor Day ceremony with the school group planting, and that we would do it in an area where trees were needed.”

He said he applied for the grant and was awarded $2,000 for the project. He said the goal was to create five landscaped “islands” in the area between the high school and the Community REC Center.

“We’ve got five trees that goes in the center part, including the edging that goes around it, and then we’re planting perennials all around the tree at a later date,” he said.

After getting the funding for the trees, Lapacz said he received help from interested students in Cathy Smiley’s environmental science class at the high school and planted the trees Thursday afternoon.

“The students all enjoyed themselves, and they did a great job,” he said

Lapacz said the two types of trees that are being used for the project are Freeman’s maple, which he said turns a bright red-orange in the autumn and honey locusts, which were planted near the lighting that is set up in that area.  “It’s a light penetrating tree, so it still allows the street lights to filter through the tree.”

He said he ordered oversized trees, since the grant money was going to be used to pay for them. “I usually plant one- to two-inch diameter trees, and these were about three- to four-inch trees. So they’re pretty large trees,” he said.

Lapacz said he made sure to stress a few reasons why planting the trees where they did was important to the students while they were working on it. He said in the parking lot, with all the traffic moving through, the trees help to filter the air.

“The carbon sequestration that the trees are doing in that area, especially in the summer, filters the air for people in that area for everyone doing rec stuff,” he said.

He also said the trees are important for stormwater retention. “In areas like that, the trees slow down the amount of runoff that goes into the parking lot, which runs straight into the river. So what it’s doing is it’s decreasing the amount of antifreeze and gas and everything else that drips out of cars in the parking lot and then washes down. It’s slowing that runoff into the Menominee River, so that’s the main reason for planting near an area with a lot of impervious asphalt,” he said.