Rotary District 6150 and Little Rock Parks and Recreation teamed up to help Rotary International celebrate its 100th anniversary by dedicating The Rotary District 6150 Centennial Grove at Little Rock’s MacArthur Park Tuesday. Rotary leaders, Parks and Recreation officials, and Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey pitched in to help plant the ceremonial first tree on the day before Little Rock’s Arbor Day. When finished, the joint project will help provide urban habitat for wildlife and help restore Little Rock’s original city park, which suffered considerable tree damage during a 1999 tornado.
“I am very excited about this project because it not only represents Rotary’s first 100 years of service, but also begins the next 100 years,” said Marilyn Hummelstein, 2005-2006 Rotary District Governor. “The trees in this grove will be here for our children and their children to enjoy.”
Rotarians are sponsoring a majority of the trees while the Parks and Recreation department Z will be responsible for caring for the trees. The trees will be planted by Rotarians from around the district with help from Parks and Recreation. The grove, which will include trees ranging from 12-feet to 22-feet when planted early in 2006, will be made up of a variety of native oaks, pines and maples as well as ornamental red buds and dogwoods.
“We are very proud to be in partnership with Little Rock Parks and Recreation and I look forward to coming back to Little Rock with Rotarians from our District to help plant the grove,” Hummelstein said.
More than half of the funds needed for the project have already been raised through charitable gifts from Rotarians and others, and by grants from Rotary District 6150 and Little Rock Parks and Recreation. In addition to sponsoring individual trees, which range from $100 to $500 depending on the size, entire “tree rooms” or “tree circles” can be donated. The Arkansas Community Foundation agreed to sponsor the first “tree circle” just last week. Custom plaques are also available.
“This is a project that began as a way to mark Rotary’s 100 years of service,” said Jake Morse, 2004-2005 Rotary District Governor. “We see this as a way to demonstrate Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self.” This grove is an example of Rotary’s continued involvement in each of the communities in which we live and serve. I look forward to walking in the grove with my grandchildren.”