Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser has announced the award of $98,757 by the U.S. Forest Service to reforest 317 trees within Petrifying Springs Park and Golf Course.
The funds were awarded to support local environmental restoration projects across six states.
The grants are part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a cooperative effort between federal, tribal, state and local partners. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding administered by the Forest Service backs local efforts to improve the collection, storage, infiltration and evaporation of rainfall and storm water.
“This grant will greatly aid our efforts to properly reforest our park and golf course following the impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation, and will go a long way in protecting the Pike River Watershed,” Kreuser said.
The program will encompass 350.7 acres, with a total of 317 trees maintained by the County Parks Division. Tree selection and planting will follow the recommendations of the EAB Readiness Plan adopted in 2013 to diversify species with a variety of natives including a total of 23 genus and 12 species of trees.
In 2015-2016, Kenosha County removed a total of 2,719 trees affected by EAB in Petrifying Springs. This project will begin the process of reforestation, replacing 11.7% of the lost trees. Added canopy from the trees will slow water runoff through their leaves and absorb polluted water through their roots, allowing pollution to be filtered naturally and thus improving water quality in the Pike River and ultimately in Lake Michigan. The trees will also reduce topsoil erosion, decreasing the amount of the sediment and pollutants flowing to the Lake.