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Trees grow in Douglas park, pups approve

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By Marcia Bradley-Marshall

It’s a hot day but Luc, the standard poodle, really needs to go outside, play with friends and stretch his legs. He gives his owner that “look” which says, “Schultz Park, now!”

So off they go. There are a few other cars parked when they pull up and Luc is on high alert for his bud Fast Eddie.

He almost hurdles the gate to get inside the “large dog” fenced area to greet his friend and perform the usual rituals of sniffs, snorts, sneezes and spirals. Then it’s a lot of laps around the large grassy area.

But wait, what is missing here? Ah yes, trees. The friends are panting heavily by now and the sun is scorching deep into their dark coats. Where’s the relief? There is none.

But look: Two new sugar maple trees have arrived from the Huntree Nursery and several shovel-clad humans are digging deep holes to anchor them into the ground.

This takes inspection to make sure nature is treated with the proper respect. Luc sniffs and nods his head in approval.

Yes, the sandy soil is replaced with nutrient-rich deep-brown earth. Fertilizer pods are tossed in to feed the tender, young trees promising to grow 25 feet tall and provide a thick canopy of sumptuous shade.

Of course, the growth will take a few years, and much watering. Fortunately, it is raining and the trees drink in the natural water, droplets clinging to the light-green leaves. A final 2-inch layer of mulch is neatly raked around the base of the trees, and Luc smiles contentedly.

The sugar maples are gifts from Luc’s owner and proprietor of the Rosemont Inn, Pat Lion, and from Fast Eddie’s owners, David Moore and David Blatt.

One tree honors Pat’s recently deceased husband, Pieter, who loved his dogs. The other tree honors Luc and Fast Eddie’s deep friendship and enjoyment of Schultz Park.

The trees will need more watering on a regular basis. The group requests other dog owners who frequent the park keep a bucket in their car and use the water spigot available on the site to hydrate the trees. Huntree owner Matt says, “The trees cannot be overwatered, just underwatered.”

And, by the way, please pick up after your dogs. The dogs quite agree.