This past week we dedicated the 2017 Mayor’s Tree of the Year at Oakhill Cemetery! With a crowd of observers, the City of Grand Rapids, our team at Friends, and our prize sponsor Eddie Bauer, we eagerly dedicated a stately European Beech in the northern half of Oakhill Cemetery. We were even joined by Fox17 News to document the yearly celebration!
The 2017 Mayor’s Tree of the Year is a European Beech tree chosen for it’s size, beauty and context within the History of Oakhill cemetery . This magnificent tree has a diameter of 48” and a canopy spread of nearly 90’. It is the first Mayor’s Tree of the year from the 3rd Ward. “It has an amazing sinuous trunk. One side looks like it has toes! It has a sweeping canopy like an umbrella (it works like a real one, too!) and it has its very own bench,” said Laura Casaletto , the citizen who nominated this year’s winning tree.
In addition to selecting a first place winner, we also selected second and third place winners!
The second place 2017 Mayor’s Tree of the Year is the very memorable White Mulberry on the east side of John Ball Park. This popular tree was nominated over 3 times! “I love how much character this tree has. Viewed from a distance, it looks a bit like an overgrown shrub, but once you approach it, you see that it’s a tree that’s leaning out to encircle a small, private area with a couple of picnic tables,” said Josh Leckrone when submitting the tree, “it makes the city feel miles away.”
The third place 2017 Mayor’s Tree of the Year is a historic Red oak on Calvin College’s main campus. This tree is the largest and oldest tree on Main Campus. It greets everyone who enters Calvin with its 200-250 year old presence. Deanna Geelhoed, of Plaster Creek Stewards said in her nomination, “we collect seeds to grow plants and trees for our rain gardens. Every year I collect a couple acorns from this tree to germinate. We grow up these acorns in our nursery and plant the saplings in rain garden across the Grand Rapids community. Not only is this tree beloved by those at Calvin, It’s babies are growing throughout the city to be enjoyed by many others.”
We are so thankful for everyone that participated in this yearly celebration of the trees in our City! We love seeing how well our citizens love their trees. If you want to see past winners of Mayor’s Tree of the Year check out the interactive map below. Make sure to click on Learn More to see all of the info about the winner from that year!