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Arlington Lions spruce up community with trees

Arlington Lions Club member Maxine Jenft, left, holds an arborvitae evergreen tree steady in its planting hole along the Arlington Cemetery fence, while Arlington Lions Club President Betty Breneman covers its roots with soil on Nov. 3. - Kirk Boxleitner
Arlington Lions Club member Maxine Jenft, left, holds an arborvitae evergreen tree steady in its planting hole along the Arlington Cemetery fence, while Arlington Lions Club President Betty Breneman covers its roots with soil on Nov. 3.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — Half a dozen members of the Arlington Lions Club braved a cold downpour to spruce up the Arlington Cemetery as part of an international campaign by their organization.

Wing-Kun Tam, international president of Lions Club, called upon Lions to continue planting trees after they’d surpassed his initial goal of 1 million trees planted, and Arlington Lions did their part on Nov. 3 by planting close to 40 arborvitae evergreen trees that they’d purchased from the Smokey Point Lowe’s store.

Although the Lions have been active in Arlington for 80 years and have supported the local Boy Scout troops before their club was even charted in town, the day’s tree-planting was a relatively new affair for the Arlington Lions, but they benefited from some helping hands courtesy of the Department of Corrections which helped dig holes and remove old arborvitae trees to make way for the Lions to plant the new ones.

“There was a big mobile home fire here last spring, and a lot of the old trees died,” said Maxine Jenft, a member of the Arlington Lions Club and the Arlington Cemetery Board, who came up with the idea of planting the trees along the fence that separates the mobile homes from the Arlington Cemetery. “We just wanted to beautify this area.”

Fellow Arlington Lions Club member Barb Tolbert noted that the former Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force had organized an Arbor Day weekend tree-planting at the city of Arlington’s Country Charm Recreation and Conservation Area just this past April, while that group’s current incarnation as Sound Salmon Solutions is already coordinating a similar tree-planting at the community’s new stormwater wetland on Nov. 12.

“We checked to see where these trees would be needed, and where they’d been requested,” said Betty Breneman, president of the Arlington Lions Club.

Tolbert emphasized that the Arlington Lions had “bought local” by purchasing the trees at the Smokey Point’s Lowe’s store, whose staff Jenft thanked for setting a price of $325 for all the trees, and waiving the delivery fee to boot.

“It was a really good deal,” Jenft said.

“Especially with the economy the way it’s been, we wouldn’t have had the money to do this for a while,” said Cody Nielsen, the maintenance grounds-person for the Arlington Cemetery who supervised and assisted the Arlington Lions and the Department of Corrections in their efforts, which wrapped up in less than an hour.

Arlington Lions Club member Doug Merz pointed out that their organization needs funds in order to undertake such community programs, so he and his fellow Lions invited community members to attend the Northwest Concert Band’s fundraising performance at the Linda M. Byrnes Performing Arts Center on Dec. 11, starting at 3 p.m.

“You can get tickets from the Arlington Pharmacy, Flowers by George or any Arlington Lions Club member,” Merz said.

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