Volunteers plant 30 trees at Edwardsburg Sports Complex

EDWARDSBURG — Volunteers gathered at the Edwardsburg Sports Complex Saturday morning with shovels in hand, ready to leave their marks on the complex for years to come.

ESC manager Patty Patzer supervised the nonprofit’s annual tree-planting day, which saw 30 trees be planted throughout the complex.

The event has taken place at the complex for roughly 10 years, according to Patzer.

“The county has a program where you can purchase seeds inexpensively,” she said. “These trees all started out as little sprouts. Every year we try to move some out. It’s just a great way to beautify the complex.”

The trees are raised on a small tree farm located on the complex. The trees were dug up with a Bobcat and an auger before being root balled and placed by pre-dug holes throughout the complex, where volunteers planted them.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the state of Michigan features more than 14 million trees on 20 million acres of forest land. 

Patzer and volunteers believe the tree project will pay long-term dividends for the complex, which first opened in 2007.

“The kids play sports here,” said volunteer Aaron Laskowski. “It’s a nice community park.”

The ESC features 10 multi-use fields, pavilions available for rent, a baseball/softball quad under construction, an expanded walking/cross country trail and a new basketball/pickleball court.

“We plan to possibly expand the baseball and softball area,” Patzer said. “We’re also hoping to someday construct an indoor athletic facility. We have a lot of things going on.”

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability of the complex, which is open on an appointment basis.

“We aren’t closed,” Patzer said. “We just need to know when people are coming. Hopefully when we’re on the other side of this everything can open up again.”

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