Members of the Syracuse Park Board were stumped by Jerry Riffle’s tree samples during the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday night. Riffle is a member of the Syracuse Tree Board and an advisor to the park board. The samples he passed around were for a redbud tree and an Kentucky coffee tree.
Riffle reported the tree board has found 13 locations for trees to be planted this spring. Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, has put out requests to several nurseries in the area. The tree board decided not to plant new trees in Henry Ward Park until the fall, after the new park sign has been installed. Eight trees have been identified for removal.
No word yet from the National Arbor Day Foundation as to whether the town will receive a Tree City USA or a Growth Award this year. The town’s Arbor Day Celebration will be April 26.
Riffle also passed around an article about Fort Wayne giving up treating its ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer and just removing them and using them for mulch. There are ash trees by the Syracuse Town Hall and in Lakeside Park, but preventative care is being given to them through a bark spray which makes the tree poisonous to the insect.
The Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Project will be hosting a reintroduction to the trail project to a number of organizations at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19. Jonsson explained this is to generate new interest in the project.
Progress continues at the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. The restrooms are almost complete, with most of the toilets having been installed and the partitions painted. A work day will be held from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday, April 19. Jonsson said there is still lots to do, but the fields will be ready for play this spring.
The dedication of the field will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Plans include scheduling a baseball or softball game and hosting a hit, pitch and run contest along with a walk through of the complex.
The nighttime Easter egg hunt for middle school-aged kids will be held at 9 p.m. Friday, March 22, after the middle school dance. Youth are invited to bring a flashlight and look for eggs filled with candy and gift cards from local restaurants. The grand prize will be an iPad touch.
The Easter egg hunt for younger kids will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23, and is being coordinated by VFW Post No. 1342. Rain dates for the Easter egg hunts are March 29-30.
A safety day event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Events include bike safety, bike rodeo, bike and helmet inspections, car seat inspections, fire safety, ID kits, K9 unit demonstrations, drug awareness, water safety and some disaster education. The event will be held rain or shine.
McLead is also working with the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and Chautauqua on the upcoming Tour de Lakes bike ride. The K21 Foundation has awarded a $2,500 grant for marketing. Last year the event doubled in size and McLead told the board it is hoped it will continue to grow.
For a more in-depth account of the meeting, see this week’s edition of The Mail-Journal.