Alpine Shore gets trees for Arbor Day

City hands out tree awards, gets local students in on planting process
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

Plenty of trees could be seen at Alpine Shores Park in Shawano, but the city couldn’t resist planting just a couple more on April 26 in celebration of Arbor Day.

The city has celebrated Arbor Day for almost three decades, continuously being recognized in the Tree City USA program, as well as Tree Line USA. Shawano also continued its tradition of honoring home and business owners who beautify the area with trees by giving Nature’s Friends Awards to David and Heather Pahl and Walsh Dental Group.

The Pahls own a home on Bartlett Street, and David Pahl told those in attendance at the Arbor Day ceremony that he was surprised to be getting the award, considering he didn’t plant the original trees.

“We feel really guilty because we had nothing to do with the planting of the trees,” he said. “Our estimate is that those trees were planted sometime in the early 1900s, and some of them are now over 100 feet tall. We’ve only lived in Shawano for a little under six years, so most of the credit for those trees goes to those people who planted them and then the people who have cared for them.”

Pahl said the property looked like one he and his wife wanted to take care of.

“On the community side, the smells that those trees produce at certain times of the year is incredible,” Pahl said. “Pollen, not so much, but the smells bring back childhood memories for me. My dad grew up in Shawano, so we would come up here regularly, and the pine smell just brings back great memories.”

Pahl added that his father, who passed away over a year ago, was in Shawano in the 1930s and 1940s, so the same trees on his property were the ones that his father got to enjoy, too. One of the trees is currently holding a nest for a pair of bald eagles and its young.

“It’s five to six weeks old,” Pahl said. “It’s starting to discover its voice. The voice you hear in the movies is not a bald eagle.”

Walsh Dental Group opened a new site on North Main Street near Alpine Shores. According to a press release, when it became evident that the old site on Fifth Street was no longer big enough, the new facility was built and K&S Landscaping was brought on board to provide the trees and plants required by the city.

Matt Hendricks, city parks and recreation director, noted that Alpine Shores is one of the newer parks for Shawano but is one that Shawano is proud of. He said that the park has a variety of trees so that invasive species like the emerald ash borer can only impact a segment of the forested area.

“Our goal is to develop every park to its highest and best use,” Hendricks said. “Alpine Shores, where we’re at, is a pretty stereotypical park. It’s different in the sense that it’s heavily wooded, and one thing about this park that is very cool is that there’s not a lot of invasive trees.”

Mayor Bruce Milavitz expressed pride that the city takes such efforts for the environment prior to reading a proclamation for Arbor Day.

“This is my third year being involved with this, and this is really something special for our community,” Milavitz said.

Shawano Municipal Utilities gave the city $2,000 for planting additional trees, and two trees were planted at Alpine Shores with the help of students from Olga Brener Intermediate School, Sacred Heart Catholic School and St. James Lutheran School.