Communication Builds Our Community

Lake Wales Heritage Volunteers Planting Again as Drought Ends

Flowering Lemon Bottlebrush, Lost to Drought and Heat, Replaced on 4th Street

A team of civic-minded volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage took advantage of the rainier weather this week to work on the organization's ongoing streetscaping project.

Robert Connors

Volunteers Ron Poller (L) and Preston Troutman took careful steps to ensure success in planting new trees on South 4th Street, replacing nine that were lost to heat stress and drought.

Monday morning found a team of volunteers planting nine young lemon bottlebrush trees on South 4th Street. The trees were replacements for some lost due to heat stress and drought this spring.

"Now that the seasonal monsoon rain season has begun, the time is right," said Heritage volunteer director Preston Troutman, who chairs the group's operations

Lake Wales Heritage is a not-for-profit that has raised funds to add street trees across the city. They have planted trees in locations from Druid Circle to the campus of McLaughlin Middle/High School, where they planted 40 trees in a December rain storm.

South 4th Street was one of the first projects undertaking by the group, with assistance from volunteers from the Lake Wales High School Interact Club. Most of those trees are thriving, adding a splash of red color to the street, which runs between the Good Shepherd Episcopal and First Baptist churches.

Robert Connors

The flowering landscape along city streets is being enhanced city-wide through the efforts of Lake Wales Heritage volunteers.

More than 30 young magnolia trees were planted last year along Lakeshore Boulevard, but again, several have been lost to drought despite ongoing efforts to water them. Some have already been replaced. The support of residents willing to help keep the trees watered appears to be critical, Troutman said.

The projects are intended to align with the city's efforts to recreate the "City in a Garden" designed by Frederick Law Olmsted a century ago. The beauty of the city earned it the reputation of "The Crown Jewel of the Ridge."

 

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