Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community planted 20 trees Wednesday, June 2, in less than two hours thanks to 20 volunteers, 10 employees and many donors! Bartels is proud of its beautiful, expansive green space and walking trail around the campus for the residents, their families, staff and the community to enjoy.

Last summer, Bartels had to take down 20 trees including several Ash trees from its main campus due to disease or other issues. The goal was to replace these trees with diverse varieties and add some spring and fall colors. Support for the project immediately took off with generous donations from community members, families, residents and many others. Bartels was able to raise enough funds to purchase 20 nice size trees including Honey Locust, River Birch, Autumn Blaze Maple, Linden, Red Bud and Gingko.

The trees were purchased this spring and experts Paul Cheville of Trees Forever and Ron Lenth of ISU Extension Bremer County assisted Bartels in developing a plan of where to plant the trees on the campus.

A call was made seeking volunteers to help plant and the response was overwhelming. Marketing and Development Coordinator Angie Daniels stated, “I am thrilled with the outpouring of support from the community we received. Everyone was excited to be involved and lend a helping hand. What could have taken a few of us all day was accomplished quickly thanks to many. The additional benefit was bringing a diverse mix of people from different organizations and businesses together for a common cause and enjoying the fellowship.”

The sun was shining brightly for planting day and Bartels Chaplain Mike Blair and his intern from Wartburg College kicked off the event with a reading, blessing and prayer.

Volunteers included Waverly Trees Forever committee members, Paul Cheville, Eric Schares, Dr. Ann Rathe and Tab Ray; Ron Lenth of ISU Extension Bremer County; Waverly Lions Club members, Glenn and Terri Meier, Augie Waltmann, Stephen Becker and Mark Trax; LEO Club member, Sara Shannon; CUNA Mutual employees and families, Bob Brunkhorst, Alicia, Collin and Morgan Aikey; Wartburg international students, Shanta Nagarkoti and Tsermy Tashi; and other volunteers, Ron Flory, Sue Blair and Tom Geise.

Everyone is invited to walk around our campus and take a look at the new trees and enjoy the beautiful campus. Bartels extends its appreciation and thanks to everyone who made this project possible whether it was with one’s time or with a donation.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” ― Nelson Henderson.

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