Delta Chi fraternity, Rotary Club team up for tree planting

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The Delta Chi fraternity has teamed up with the Brookings Rotary Club and the City of Brookings to increase the number of trees across town with the annual Brookings Boulevard Project.

The project intends to increase the number of trees across town, preferably on the boulevard outside the tree buyer’s home. This year, there are 20 royal red maples, 20 emerald lustre maples and 20 bur oaks for sale.

The trees are usually priced anywhere from $140 to $200, but a $1,500 donation from the Rotary lets Delta Chi sell the trees for $15.

When introducing 2018 as the “Year of the Tree,” Rotary International President Ian Risley challenged every one of the 1.2 million members of the organization to plant a tree.

The challenge made this year’s boulevard project even more important to those involved, said Gunnar Snell, freshman human biology major and Delta Chi coordinator of this year’s event.

“It is a great way to improve our community and strengthen our relationship with the people of Brookings,” Snell said.

The project can also help replace trees lost each year due to age, storm damage or other hazards, said Allen Kruse, superintendent of parks and forestry for the City of Brookings.

The project has received a lot of positive feedback, said Ginger Thomson, publicity chair for the Rotary.

“People in the community seem really appreciative,” she said.

The initiative also helps take some of the financial burden of tree planting off the city.

“People want trees,” Kruse said. “Normally we can’t meet all the demand.”

Every year Brookings sets a goal to plant about 300 trees.

The 2017 event saw the planting of all 60 trees available, and Snell said he would like to see the number of available trees increase in the future with other project coordinators.

“More trees will help our environment and the community of Brookings as a whole,” he said.

Remaining trees are being sold by Delta Chi while supplies last. Anyone interested in purchasing a tree should contact the Delta Chi fraternity or email Snell directly at gunnar.snell@jacks.sdstate.edu.

“It’s a great project. We’re delighted to be involved and we look forward to future opportunities to work with the community,” Thomson said.

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