A Leadership Fond du Lac Team has set out to raise awareness of the Emerald Ash Borer problem in Fond du Lac. The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle whose larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients.
After Elm disease took out the Elm trees in Fond du Lac, a good portion of those trees were replaced with Ash trees. Of Wisconsin's estimated 770 million ash trees, over 5 million exist on public and private property in cities and villages. The loss of these urban ash trees would cost residents: $3 billion for tree removal and replacement; $270 million per year in lost tree-canopy service to reduce pollution, lower heating and cooling costs, & absorb storm water runoff. Emerald Ash Borer was confirmed in Wisconsin in the summer of 2008, with the first case in the City of Fond du Lac confirmed in April 2015. Currently, over 28% of the trees in Fond du Lac are Ash trees.
As Ash trees were cut down to help manage the problem, students at Parkside School reacted with disappointment in removal of the trees at their school. “We received mixed reactions from students as they exited the building and saw all of the trees they were accustomed to seeing in the terrace cut down. There was a mixture of sadness, confusion and shock,” stated Stacey Buchholz, principal of Parkside Elementary School. Leadership Fond du Lac’s “Team Con-Du-It” consisting of Buchholz, Kimberly Klaetsch, Lisa Hayes, Mike Owens and Ryan Zitlow have raised funds to replace one of the trees outside Parkside School.
On Friday, May 5 at 10:30 a.m. the team will plant a healthy tree outside Parkside School. In addition, the team has partnered with Fond du Lac High School’s Environmental Club to spread awareness by tying green ribbons on Ash trees on school property during the week of May 6-13.
Leadership Fond du Lac is a division of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce that provides information and experience to individuals who are willing to commit to serving their community. Accepted applicants learn about local institutions and issues and put their skills and knowledge to use through the required small-group community project. Through the program, individuals develop leadership, interpersonal and communications skills, and develop a strong network throughout the community. For more information, contact the Association of Commerce at (920) 921-9500 or visit www.fdlac.com.