Trees donated to Van Houten Park

Photo by Robert Ankrapp
Members of the American Association of Zoo Keepers Detroit Chapter — Tom Brown (left), Cindy Colling, Dave Humbryd, and AAZK Board Member Kelly Wilson (right) — help Mayor Dan Paletko plant one of five new trees donated by the organization.

HEIGHTS — Van Houten Park has several new trees, thanks to the generosity of The American Association of Zoo Keepers Detroit Chapter and Polar Bears International donated five new trees to Van Houten Park Dec. 5.

PBI’s community-based Acres for the Atmosphere program, the city planted the trees between the park’s soccer field and baseball diamond.

Mayor Dan Paletko was pleased with the donation of the park’s five new trees.

“Trees not only play a vital role in our environmental well-being, but they also help enhance the quality and character of our neighborhoods” he said. “Our 20-year status as a ‘Tree City’ attests to the fact that we place a high priority on the value of trees in our community. We appreciate the efforts of the Detroit Zoo Chapter of the AAZK, and Polar Bears International for this contribution.”

Acres for the Atmosphere and PBI encourage the planting of trees to help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, which helps conserve polar bear habitat in the Arctic.

“Trees absorb carbon and carbon dioxide from the air, and sequester it in their roots, trunks, stems and leaves as they grow – as well as in the wood products after they are harvested” said American Association of Zoo Keepers Board Member Kelly Wilson of Dearborn Heights. “They are, in every sense of the word, nature’s air cleaners.”

The Detroit Chapter of the AAZK actively supports the planting of trees throughout southeast Michigan by raising money to pay for trees, and then works with local communities to plant trees in appropriate areas. Chapter members volunteer their time to assist with everything from fundraising, to working with local communities to identify appropriate planting locations, to assisting with the actual planting.

The trees were purchased from Ray Wiegand’s Nursery in Romeo. The nursery also donated several trees to plant on the grounds of the Detroit Zoo. Brilar Inc., based in Oak Park, donated their company’s resources to assist with the planting responsibilities.