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Organizations partner to plant new maple tree at Vets Park
Tree Planting
Pictured at the Central Kansas Association of Retire School Personnel tree planting ceremony are (LEFT TO RIGHT): CKARSP member Margaret Evers, Great Bend City Arborist Doug Burt, Great Bend Tree Board members Toni Rice and Gary Pinkall, CKARSP members Dolores Baker and Susan Young, Kenneth Honour and Garrett Buckbee from Northview Nursery, and CKARSP members Judy Krebaum, Laverne Lessor, Ann Lessor, Dave Tinkler, Carol Woodmansee and Roger Hallenbeck. - photo by Daniel Kiewel

Planting seeds in young minds and planting trees both represent hope for the future. Sunny skies and pleasant spring temperatures Friday afternoon provided picturesque setting to share such hope.

Members of the Central Kansas Association of Retire School Personnel (CKARSP) partnered with the Great Bend Tree Board to plant a new tree on the north side of Veterans Memorial Park Friday afternoon.

CKARSP members selected an October Glory red maple tree to plant in the Argonne Forest at the park. According to CKARSP member Susan Young, the ceremonial planting was originally scheduled to coincide with Earth Day in April, but was delayed due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions in place at the time. 

“Various groups (like CKARSP) around the state are challenged with doing something that is Earth friendly,” Young said. “(It was) with that purpose in mind.”

A $75 tree-planting incentive from the Great Bend Tree Board enabled to pick the particular species of maple tree for it’s hardiness and vibrant fall colors. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the species is a fast-growing tree that can grow as tall as 40 to 50 feet high with a spread of 25 to 35 feet, and should grow well in the Kansas climate. The foundation also indicates this species also attracts many types of birds and other wildlife because of it’s showy, red-tinged fruits.

CKARSP purchased the tree from Northview Nursery & Landscape in Great Bend, who also did the work of planting the tree Friday. 

Young said the group is grateful to both Northview and the Great Bend Tree Board for the help and guidance they offered the group in allowing the project to come to fruition.

According to Young, CKARSP membership is open to any person formerly employed in the nation’s schools. It’s purpose, she said, is to support legislative issues regarding education, health and safety and matters that promote social, professional and economic status. This project was undertaken to help support, and bring awareness to, the group’s mission.

Anyone interested in joining CKARSP should contact president Joyce Weeden at 620-786-1915 or co-vice president Ginny Tinkler at 620-639-5332.

Tree Planting 2
Garrett Buckbee (in green) and Kenneth Honour (in brown) from Northview Nursery plant the October Glory maple tree for the Central Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel Friday afternoon. - photo by Daniel Kiewel