Langley’s tree project finished

Hal Seligson and other volunteers planted the trees in the pouring rain. Seligson said helpers slipped ankle-deep into the mud, but that didn’t deter the crew of hardy volunteers. - Tucker Stevens photo
Hal Seligson and other volunteers planted the trees in the pouring rain. Seligson said helpers slipped ankle-deep into the mud, but that didn’t deter the crew of hardy volunteers.
— image credit: Tucker Stevens photo

It all started late last year when Fran Abel said to Hal Seligson: “I want trees for Second Street.”

“Me, too,” Seligson replied.

Less than seven months later, nine new trees frame Second Street in Langley. Additional plantings give the street a friendly look.

“This is an example of how citizens can have a dream and make it happen,” Abel said.

Within a few short months a group of volunteers raised around $12,000 in money and material donations to make a greener Langley possible,

Abel said.

“The whole community was so generous,” Abel said. “From giving money to telling us they liked what we did.”

Others poured time, expertise and equipment into the project. And during the planting date when even the most persistent rain couldn’t stop the volunteers from their mission, others came out to support the workers bringing hot, steaming coffee or tea.

Volunteers planned, constructed, dug holes, planted and watered the new arrivals. It was a rewarding experience for many.

“How many times do you get to take a jack hammer to the streets as a citizen?” Abel asked.

Now the trees have started leafing out and the look of Second Street has become softer.

Three ash trees, four maples and two Sour Gum were planted in April.

“We have selected a variety of trees. Langley has an eclectic style,” Marilee Seligson said.

Also, the variety in the trees protects the trees in case a tree disease attacks a certain variety. Then, the other trees stand a chance of survival, Hal Seligson said.

Trees with small leaves were chosen to keep the clean-up in fall to a minimum.

“Small leaves, less mess,” Seligson explained.

Trees have been chosen based on landscapers’ recommendations and the planting plan for Langley follows a model of plantings approved for Seattle streets, Seligson said.

Now that the trees have started to take root in their new location, Seligson is proud of the community and how it came together for this “real world” project, he said.

“It looks terrific,” he said.

The nine planters have been adopted by various businesses and organizations. They will take care of watering, weeding and trash pick-up.

The Children’s Theater, The Chocolate Flower Farm, Windermere Real Estate, Coldwell Banker Tara Properties, Piper Properties, Useless Bay Coffee, Fran Abel Landscape Consulting, Wayne Boddie and Friends of the Langley Library adopted planters along Second Street.

Abel said it was amazing to see so many people come together. The city assisted in the planning process and with equipment. The community club with Bob Dalton supported the cause and submitted the grant proposal on behalf of the volunteers.

Dalton recently said it was inspiring to see how the community pulled together to make the project happen.

Owen Burk donated soil and equipment, she said.

The trees were bought at a discount and so the project came together.

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