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500 new trees to be added to Saugatuck's Mount Baldhead

The new strategy will hopefully lead to more trees surviving in the harsh environment.

SAUGATUCK, Mich. — Volunteers from the Saugatuck area have plans to make Mount Baldhead a little less bald.

The city received a $1,000 grant from the Allegan County Community Foundation earlier this year. They have purchased 500 trees with that money.

The new trees will be planted on the north half of the sand dune, where years ago an attempt to get rid of the invasive Asian Bittersweet vine killed off most of the trees. Several efforts to replace the trees have failed due to erosion and deer eating the young saplings.

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Jon Vanderbeek, a local naturalist, is helping to lead the project and said his team will be taking a different approach.

"We're taking the proper steps. We have the bushes and different plants that really like the sand to come in and develop a smaller canopy. Then we have other trees that grow fast that will develop a higher canopy over the years. And I'm sure we'll come back in ten years, we might be planting some more mature plants like oaks and maples."

Each tree will have a nest surrounding it to control erosion and will receive deer repellent.

Credit: 13 OYS

The project is being regulated by the city, but will feature dozens of volunteers.

If you'd like to offer help, contact Jon Vanderbeek via email: jonvanderbeek@hotmail.com

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