With donations, planning, and a lot of help, the village of Moscow, which was devastated by a tornado in March, is looking greener.
Volunteers and village leaders helped plant dozens of new trees in the village Sept. 13-15.
Nurseries, individuals and businesses in the area donated trees or money after the tornado ripped out hundreds of trees on village and residential property, many of which were mature in age.
Duke Energy donated $10,000 Aug. 7 for tree replacement in the village and officials from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens helped secure a variety of trees that will be environmentally beneficial in the village.
Volunteers from Duke and the zoo came out to Moscow Sept. 14 to help place and plant the trees throughout the village.
“It’s unbelievable to see the difference it makes,” Sally Thelen, spokesperson for Duke Energy, said during the process.
Thelen said they were impressed by the number of larger trees they were able to get for the village including trees up to 15 feet tall.
“Having big trees go in makes (the village) look back to pre-tornado,” Thelen said.
In addition, Thelen said, they were able to get more than 75 varieties of trees and worked with the zoo’s horticulture department to select specific trees and locations for the trees.
Steve Foltz, director of horticulture for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens was on hand Sept. 14 to place trees throughout the village and make sure the planting process was done properly.
Foltz said the goal for the project in Moscow was not only to provide the village with trees to replace those that were lost, but also to have a specific plan for the tree selection and planting.
“Literally the village of Moscow will be an arboretum,” Foltz said.
Foltz said they chose around 160 trees in 75 different varieties to plant, including about 13 different Oak species.
“We wanted to make sure we had good, large, long-term shade trees,” Foltz said.
Foltz said every tree will be specifically placed and accessible on a map and by using GPS.
He said information about a specific tree can be looked up online using www.plantplaces.com.
Residents in the village are thankful for the trees for many reasons.
Vicki Hiles, a Moscow resident whose home survived the tornado, lost trees that left her yard bare and more exposed to the sun.
She said the village after the tornado debris was removed was a heartbreaking wasteland.
“It looked like some kind of war zone in the Middle East,” Hiles said. “It was unbelievable.”
She said the project to re-plant trees is wonderful for ecology and nourishing for the human heart as well.
“To just open the window shades and look out is like the difference between night and day to see something green and growing again,” Hiles said.
Linda Carter, vice mayor of the village and chairman of the tree committee, said they are hoping to continue replacing trees into next year.
“We are trying to get enough donations to replace the street trees that will ultimately affect everyone,” Carter said. “We hope to have enough over that amount so we can give (trees) to people to plant on their property.”
For more information about the tree committee or donating to the village contact Susan Jones at (513) 553-4200.