ReLeaf Washington greening up Washington with live oaks

Published 10:21 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

Eight live oaks were planted this week in Washington. Eight trees release that much more oxygen, provide that much more shade and will age into the landscape surrounding them.

On Thursday, ReLeaf Washington planted seven trees in the park at the old P.S. Jones High School and another at Bobby Andrews Recreation Center, also the location of the first live oak planted last month in the effort to benefit and beautify Washington. At $160 per live oak, founders of ReLeaf Washington Dick Leach and Mack Simpson are looking for members for and partners to the organization.

They’re finding them, according to Simpson. After speaking with the P.S. Jones Alumni Board last month and offering to help get a tree or two planted in a wide-open, treeless space, Simpson got a call the next day from board member James Smallwood, proposing to share the cost with ReLeaf Washington, according to Simpson.

“Our ReLeaf Board jumped on the chance to make a positive impact there, and we started the ball rolling,” Simpson wrote in an email.

Staff members from Washington Parks and Recreation offered to pay for another tree, this one at Bobby Andrews Recreation Center on East Seventh Street, to honor a deceased coworker.

Simpson said the ReLeaf Board has been named: Heather Thienpont, president; Betsy Kane, vice president; Mack Simpson, secretary; Dick Leach, treasurer; Monica Ferrari, Meredith Loughlin and Frank Phelps.

Simpson said the effort to add some more green to Washington has garnered a lot of interest.

“We’ve had several generous donations already even though we’ve not yet done our membership drive,” Simpson wrote.