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Marshall County Courthouse to benefit from MHS Bobcat Tree Restoration Fund

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ The Marshalltown High School Class of 1969 has launched the MHS Bobcat Tree Restoration Fund Drive, whereby they have been working to raise money to plant approximately 300-500 trees around Marshalltown to replace ones damaged by the July 19 tornado. Earlier this week, members of the class planted the first of 50 trees designated for the campus of the Iowa Veterans Home. Here campaign vice president/treasurer Lyle Jensen and IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri plant the tree, which honors Class of 1969 graduate Kenneth Tucker, who was killed in the Vietnam War.

The Marshalltown High School Class of 1969 has launched a MHS Bobcat Tree Restoration Fund Drive with the goal of raising $50,000 to plant 300-500 trees indigenous to Iowa on private and public land in Marshalltown, to replace the arbors damaged in the July 19 tornado. At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Alumni Fund Campaign Vice President/Treasurer Lyle Jensen and Secretary Bill Wilson presented their vision for extending this drive to include the Marshall County Courthouse lawn — compliments of the alumni group.

“We’d love to put the courthouse and parks into our key project campaign,” Jensen said. “In the first 30 days (of our fundraising), we’ve raised $15,000 and we’ve got another $6,000-7,000 promised, so we have enough funds to get started and do some meaningful tree restoration projects for the town. We have already started planting at the Iowa Veterans Home.”

The project was met with enthusiasm from the supervisors who voted unanimously to approve the MHS Bobcat Alumni Fund to raise additional funds, as part of a Marshalltown Tree Restoration Fund Drive to support up to 30 new tree plantings at the Marshall County Courthouse and any Marshall County park, with the tree selection and timing of planting left to the discretion of the board and the Buildings and Grounds Department.

Supervisor Bill Patten said the BOS would not be able to give the alumni group an exact timetable when the trees could be planted.

“When the building (restoration) gets done, we’ll have to redo the grounds a little bit,” he said.

Patten also said other agencies and businesses have expressed an interest in donating trees to the courthouse lawn and the supervisors wanted to make sure to include any and all interested parties in the efforts.

Jensen said whenever the county deems it the proper time to begin planting the trees on the courthouse lawn, the funds will be made available, held in escrow. While the alumni group has a vision for what the tree restoration project could look like around town, they have emphasized wanting the beneficiaries of the trees to retain creative control.

People interested in getting involved may visit the class’ Marshalltown Tree Restoration Fund Facebook page. Donations may be made at gofundme.com/marshalltown-tornado-restoration and through PayPal.

Checks are payable to: MHS Bobcat Alumni Fund, c/o Lyle Jensen, P.O. Box 287, Winterset, Iowa 50273. For more information, Jensen may be reached at 515-468-9631 and lylejensen.ia@gmail.com

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at

641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com