The Re-Arbor Glen Arbor Fundraising Campaign is a huge success. With some help from the Utopia Foundation, we’ve raised an astonishing $45,000 in just a month. During that same time, $28,000 in donations have been given to Glen Arbor Township to help with the clean-up. A big heartfelt thank you to all who have contributed.
Recently, a Re-Arbor Glen Arbor Community Task Force was created to oversee the spending of both of these funds. The task force has representation from Glen Arbor Township, businesses, Glen Lake Association, Woodstone, Northwood Drive and Cherry Republic (me); and invitations are out to M-DOT, Leelanau County Road Commission and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The primary objectives of the task force are to remove as much of the tree debris from the main corridors of Glen Arbor and the main roadways in Glen Arbor, as possible. A second goal is to help residents with clean up. Assistance will be given to those private lots on the primary corridors with visible blight. It is also to help those neighbors that were hit hard who just don’t have the resources to remove and clean their yards. We expect that tree removal and cleanup may take up to a year.
The first check written from the Re-Arbor Glen Arbor Fund was written to the Friends of the Sleeping Bear Dunes for $5,000 for the removal of trees blocking vehicle travel onto South Forest Haven Rd from M-22. The work will be done mid-October.
A second major objective is to replant trees in the Glen Arbor business district and throughout the main entryways to Glen Arbor. Currently, task force members are identifying the many locations where trees would be appreciated. Task force members are also working through the various government guidelines for planting in the public right-of-way areas of the National Park, the county road commission, and M-DOT. The task force will also be hiring a forester to oversee the planting of what might be hundreds of trees and several species. The best time to replant trees is late October before the ground freezes. Replanting will begin this fall.
A final objective of the Re-Arbor Glen Arbor Task Force is to lift the spirits of all who have been through the emotional turmoil of this natural disaster. This has been a difficult month and there is still much to do. It is time we get the damage behind us and began the healing. With that in mind, monies will go toward funding several events. The biggest of which will be on Saturday, October 17th. During that night, an awards banquet will commence to honor many of the citizens that have given so much for Glen Arbor’s recovery.
The growing belief of the task force is that the monies needed to cleanup the public right-of-ways and lands (outside of the national lakeshore) have been raised but, if there is a shortfall, Glen Arbor Township has monies available to cover those unexpected costs. Any money raised from this point forward will first go toward assisting private landowners who do not have the means to tidy their property. The money raised from here will be used for tree removal and cleanup and tree planting on private property. The tree planting will be a tremendous help to private property owners who have already had to cover the tremendous costs of tree removal and cleanup. In many cases, it will jumpstart, by a decade, the overall goal of re-arboring Glen Arbor.
In the end, nothing will feel better or more healing than to plant trees that we will enjoy next summer in full-leaf growing in as many corners of Glen Arbor as possible.