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Service clubs donate $10,000 to plant trees in Lodi’s DeBenedetti Park

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Posted: Friday, January 21, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:57 am, Fri Jan 21, 2011.

Two service clubs donated $10,000 to Tree Lodi as part of an effort to plant 200 trees at DeBenedetti Park. The nonprofit organization has raised $16,000 of the $20,000 goal for the project, Parks Superintendent Steve Dutra said.

The groups presented the checks at the Lodi City Council meeting Wednesday night. Lodi-Tokay Rotary and the Lodi Lions Club each donated $5,000 to the group. Their donations are the highest level of sponsorship, and buys each club 50 trees.

Tree Lodi is tentatively scheduled to plant the trees with a team of 400 volunteers in April.

DeBenedetti Park is in its first phase, with the city installing three multi-sports playing fields in the northwest section of the park.

Tree Lodi will use the money to buy trees, tree supplies, compost, tree fertilizer, stakes, signage, advertisements and a celebration meal.

Any extra money will be put in a contingency fund for future tree maintenance or replacement.

The group learned the importance of raising extra money to replace trees that die or are vandalized, Dutra said.

When Tree Lodi planted 100 trees in honor of the city's centennial, it did not budget money to replace 30 trees that did not make it.

It is common to lose about 10 percent of any trees planted for a project, so Dutra said it was important to plan for that this time.

The group has committed to caring for the trees during the first three years after planting.

The organization still needs another $4,000 to reach its goal and is still taking donations from the community.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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