Local Businesses Help City Replace Damaged Trees

Missoula Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry Division plans to partner with NorthWestern Energy, Lowes Home Improvement and Montana Ace Hardware Fancy Plants to replace about a dozen young boulevard trees that were destroyed by vandals on June 2.

The trees, which were planted in 2010, were all about 3” in diameter and worth about $350 each, according to Urban Forester Greg Howe. After media coverage of the vandalism, NorthWestern Energy approached the City to donate funding and volunteer labor to replace the damaged trees.

In addition, Lowes Home Improvement and Montana Ace Hardware Fancy Plants have offered to donate suitable street trees from their garden centers. “We live in a generous community, but I continue to be amazed at the willingness of businesses and citizens to step up to right a wrong,” Missoula Mayor John Engen said. “Thanks to NorthWestern Energy, Lowes, and Montana Ace Hardware, the destructive work of vandals won’t stand, but the spirit of community will and we’ll get some trees planted.”

The Urban Forestry Division plans to replace the damaged trees during the next planting cycle; either Fall, 2013 or Spring, 2014. For more information about planting trees in the boulevard, visit www.missoulaparks.org. To help purchase new trees or support the Urban Forest, visit www.treesformissoula.org. Citizens with information regarding the vandalism can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 721-4444.