When you drive through the rolling hills that make up the neighborhood near North Tyrol Park, you'll find that most of the homes have one thing in common: a small yard sign that says "We Gave."
To residents near North Tyrol Park, those two words mean a lot. Last summer, a tornado ripped through the park, destroying the canopy of trees and shrubs that neighbors came to enjoy.
Today, after the formation of a group called Trees for Tyrol, locals have raised $17,500. Every dollar will go toward the purchase of new, mature trees that will be planted in the spring.
When neighbors Rob Wheaton and Curt Olson set out to form Trees for Tyrol a few months ago, their goal was to raise $15,000. Now, the two think they'll surpass their goal by almost $5,000.
"When you own a home, you care about your neighbors and your surroundings," Wheaton said. "We have a vested interest in our neighborhood amenities, like the park."
Wheaton has a 10-year-old son, and wants his son to grow up playing in the shaded park that he remembers. While the City of Golden Valley is working to help restore the park's habitat by planting young trees, Wheaton and Olson knew that the trees would take years to grow. That's why, with the help of Golden Valley’s Park Maintenance Supervisor Al Lundstrom, purchasing mature trees is so important.
"Everyone who works for the City is so engaged in this project," Wheaton said. "I can't tell you how supportive and excited they are."
But Wheaton and Olson haven't done it alone. Neighbor Katie Murphy designed the Trees for Tyrol logo that's plastered on lawn signs throughout the neighborhood. The logo is also the centerpiece of a giant banner that documents fundraising efforts in the park.
Sept. 30 is the last day to donate to the Trees for Tyrol effort. This fall, Wheaton and Olson will find a nursery to buy the trees from, and work with Lundstrom to purchase them.
If you want to donate, write a check and mail it to:
City of Golden Valley
ATTN: Sue Virnig, Finance Director (Trees For Tyrol)
7800 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55427
Be sure to add North Tyrol Park in the memo area on the check. You can also connect on Facebook.