Tree Board discusses dog park survey, water tower garden project, and legacy tree removal

MARKER SHOWS LOCATION of the legacy Longleaf tree that bordered the tennis Court property.


The DeFuniak Springs City Beautification & Tree Board met for its regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7, where the first order of business was the dog park boundary survey, which was conducted on the Armory, the old Health Department, and the county’s “laydown lot.” The DeFuniak Springs City Council decided to have all of these properties surveyed to assess the best location of the future dog park. The survey was completed by a local business, Lang Engineering Services, in DefFuniak Springs. A copy of the survey will be sent to the members of the board. 

Board member Mike Goodchild was unable to attend the meeting, but sent his report to be read by Chair Kim Wennerberg. The owner of Ace Hardware is willing to donate materials for the container garden project at the DFS Water Tower, a project in collaboration with the board and Walton Middle School’s Agriculture/Future Farmers of America (FFA) Teacher Joe Proffitt. Once there is a list of materials created, it will be shared with the owner of Ace Hardware. 

Water bladder bags that can hold up to 15 gallons of water for newly planted trees will cost around $17 each from Amazon. Goodchild looked into this option after the previously discussion regarding newly planted trees dying and how to better help staff with the maintenance of these newly planted trees.  Regarding this issue, the newly planted cypress trees at the Lakeyard are dead and need to be replanted utilizing the bladder bags to combat weather conditions. 

The previously discussed Cedar Tree on Baldwin Avenue cannot be transplanted and survive, and it has been recommended to leave the tree in place to be decorated during the holiday season, since this is one of the only trees left on Baldwin that has survived.   

Wennerberg then moved from Goodchild’s report to announce that on Aug. 23, The DFS Kiwanis Club presented a check to Walton Middle School’s  FFA that included $750 from a grant and $500 from the Kiwanis. There has been no headway regarding the design plans for the project itself.  A local citizen approached Wennerberg to ask if the time of the meetings could be changed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in order to gain more citizen support and input. After discussion there was a motion passed in order to change meeting time from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.. 

Board member Glen Harrison then explained the removal of the infected legacy longleaf pine that borders the tennis courts property. This was needed in order to save the other three legacy longleaf pines that also border the property. Although this approximately 200-year-old tree was lost but not forgotten. Harrison informed the board that he received a slab from the tree that he plans to preserve and create a history timeline of the city using the circles on the inside of the tree.