Trees added to Fairfield park in honor of Earth Day

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Trees added to Fairfield park in honor of Earth Day

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Michael D. Pitman
The city celebrated on Thursday, April 20, 2017, a couple days in advance of the 47th Earth Day with its annual tree planting ceremony, which was made possible this year through a grant from Duke Energy. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Three more trees were planted Thursday in Fairfield’s Huffman Park because of a Duke Energy grant in celebration of Earth Day.

This makes the third year Duke has given a grant to the city to purchase trees for the park off John Gray Road just outside the city’s Fairfield Greens golf courses. There are about 10 new trees planted at the young park because of Duke Energy’s grants.

“We take our commitment to the environment very seriously,” said Tim Abbott, Duke Energy director of government and community relations and a Fairfield City Council member. “We work with customers through our energy efficiency to reduce their demand on the system which in turn helps the environment.”

This Saturday marks the 47th annual Earth Day anniversary, which is celebrated every April 22. It’s believed the first Earth Day in 1970 launched the modern environmental movement and it’s estimated that more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities annually.

Abbott also said Duke Energy in the past few years retired several coal plants throughout the company’s six-state service territory, including in 2014 the company’s W.C. Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Ohio.

This year’s tree is a bitternut hickory, a native Ohio tree that was purchased at the Lakeview Garden Center and Landscaping in the city.

“We’ve been very thankful for Duke’s generosity over the years with all the trees we’ve been able to plant up here (at Huffman Park),” said Fairfield Parks Director Jim Bell.

Huffman Park was developed in 2012 and over the years, the Duke Energy grant paid for red oaks, cedar and black gum trees. The energy company was also honored because of their efforts to the environment, which also includes being a recycling advocate, working to reduce emission and donating grants to buy new trees for the city.

Dave Colteryahn, chairman of the Fairfield Environmental Commission, awarded Abbott on behalf of Duke, the 2016 Friends of the Fairfield Forest award “in grateful recognition for the enduring commitment in the stewardship in Fairfield’s community forest.”

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