By Sally Van Meter
Here in the town of Lyons, many of you have noticed the new tree plantings here in town along Main Street, Lyons Firehouse, and near the Lyons Post Office. Sponsored by the Lyons Lions Club, in partnership with the Lyons Ecology Board,
the Town of Lyons Parks and Recreation, and the Public Works Department. Lions Club member Ron Gosnell spearheaded and brought to fruition project “Adopt-A-Tree.”
On April 26, the “Adopt-A-Tree” project sprang into action. One hundred and ten volunteers, along with project manager Gosnell and Kyle Miller (Lyons Public Works) spent the morning teaching volunteers the ins and outs of planting twenty-three trees to replace those that had died along Main Street and other areas. Using a wide variety of trees, including Ohio Buckeye, Sycamore, Oak, Linden, Maple, Pine, Kentucky Coffee, and two special Bald Cypresses, the goal beyond replacing trees that died was, according to Gosnell, “to create diversity [within] the urban forest; its best protection from harm.” Town Historian Lavern Johnson called it “A heartening event.”
With lots of fluorescent safety vests graciously donated by Greeley CDOT office, shovels, laughter, camaraderie, and hard work, by noontime all of the tree planting was finished. Lyons Lions Club, Smokin’ Dave’s, and Julie’s Thai Kitchen restaurants provided all who volunteered a delicious picnic lunch at Sandstone Park. As I walked around taking photographs of the entire event, I was again reminded of why I love this town. Lyons has a strong understanding of volunteerism, and importantly, a very clear sense of community. This group of volunteers was exciting to photograph because of the diversity of folks who showed up to dig and plant; all age groups were well represented, including students from Lyons Middle/Senior High Schools, Lyons residents, Lyons Town Hall staff members and employees, and Mayor John O’Brien. Everyone worked equally hard to get this project completed and the satisfaction of watching bent backs straightening up to reveal big smiles of accomplishment was exactly what Lyons is about; coming together and creating something beautiful for our town. Beyond the art and music scene that glues specific pieces of our community together, the reality of what we went through as a community during and after the flood again came sharply into focus for me and I feel for all of us here in Lyons. The chance to do something positive toward helping our town recover remains strong for so many Lyons residents. I would like to thank the Town of Lyons, Kyle Miller, Ron Gosnell, the Lyons Lions Club, Lyons Volunteers, and everyone who gave their time and energy in supporting good old-fashion community service to our town. Volunteerism is a powerful force for good, and our town certainly proves that we understand this. Thank you all!