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Volunteers plant 62 trees around city

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By Kellie Parkin

Luz Kraujalis, known affectionately around Cedar Key as the “Tree Lady” has done it again. With the gracious donation of island landowner Tom Tonnilier of TNT Nursery, and three and a half days hard work by a handful of volunteers, Luz has seen to it that 62 young trees have been planted throughout downtown and the surrounding area.

Tonnilier offered the sand live oak trees to the city as a gift, complete with delivery from his nursery in Alachua County.

“And he’s says he’ll give us more – up to 400 trees,” Luz said. “We just need the people to take care of them.”

More than twenty residences signed up for the task this time around. The trees will need 20 gallons of water a day for the first six months.

Luz and volunteer Greg Lang, Community Redevelopment Agency Director, who took two vacation days last week to work steadily throughout the entire tree planting project, commended the residents willing to water and care for the growing trees. For a complete list of everyone helping out, see page 6.

So why all the new trees?

“Luz coordinated and ran the tree inventory,” Greg said. “And she realized right away that Cedar Key had no young trees. It’s one of the fascinating results that came out of that study we weren’t expecting. And now all of this is all because of her efforts.”

Luz and Greg had some significant help from volunteers as they planted the trees. Ken Edmunds, John McPhearson, Mike Leiner, and Walter Kraujalis hauled, dug, planted, and watered. Josh Wilson stopped by on his way out of town and ended up unloading one of the delivery of trees. City public works employees Brian Hancock and Billy Crandley spent most all of Friday assisting with the eight trees at City Park, five at the Community Center and four at the Recycling Center.

“Brian was supposed to leave for vacation at 10:30 that morning,” Luz said. “We tried to get his to go, but he just refused. He didn’t go until after 3:30. And he worked hard all day long.”

More trees will come if the interest is here, Luz said. If you are interested in planting a tree in the right-of-way in front of your house, and can water it daily for six months, contact her at 949-8622.