Ridgeland receives donation of oak trees
RIDGELAND — A man who raised his children here has donated more than $10,000 in trees to the city.
Brad Chism, who lived in Ridgeland for 15 years before recently moving to Madison, donated 103 oak trees to the city worth an estimated $11,330.
Chism raised his family in Ridgeland and said they all have enjoyed the city's many outdoor amenities including ball fields and walking trails.
When his family was looking to get rid of some inventory at their tree farm, Chism said he “saw an opportunity” to give back to the city.
“We wanted to help the city out in some way with their ongoing beautification efforts,” Chism said.
He noted he first reached out to the city about two weeks ago. The donation was unanimously accepted by aldermen at their Feb. 6 regular meeting.
“We have a place to plant them,” Mayor Gene F. McGee said.
Public Works Director Alan Hart said they had uses for the trees “all over” the city. Speicifcally he said about 40 trees would go on the south end of the Highland Colony Parkway.
The trees will replace dead trees throughout the city and populate other areas with new tree cover.
Hart said other locations include Colony Park Boulevard, Ridgeland City Hall, and in the city parks.
City officials said they hope to start planting trees soon.
Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said Chism was a long-time neighbor and friend of his.
“He is very community-focused and is proud of what we have done here and said he wanted to do something to help,” Smith said. “We are really excited to get these trees planted.”
Along with accepting the donation, city officials also issued a “thank you” letter to Chism signed by McGee acknowledging the “generous donation.”
The letter goes on to say, “The city has long been an advocate for promoting the importance and value of trees in the community. I am proud to say that this year marks our 16th consecutive year as being designated as a Tree City from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
And concludes with, “Once again, thank you for this generous donation and your support of the City of Ridgeland and by helping to keep us a Tree City. The trees you donated today will be enjoyed by many Ridgeland generations to come.”