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Headwaters Park nearly recovered from June 29 wind storm damage

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People who want to sponsor a Headwaters Park tree in their name or the name of a loved one can call 425-5745. The cost is $500 and includes a brief message engraved on a brick marker placed at the base of the tree.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 10:37 am

Restoration of Headwaters Park's tree canopy and landscaping damaged in last year's June 29 storm should be completed by the end of next week, said Geoff Paddock, executive director of the Headwaters Park Alliance, which manages the park.

“Once we get all of the work done, it should look really nice for the 2013 season,” said Paddock, who planned to announce the news at a news conference Thursday morning.

The storm, which unleashed winds of 91 mph, downed numerous trees around the area and left more than 78,000 local residents without electricity.

The Headwaters Park Alliance organized the cleanup and recovery in Headwaters Park, Paddock said. The $60,000 cost, which was paid with private donations, also included restoring flower beds and installing some new landscaping.

The alliance tried to save trees that it could, but it had to remove 14 Bradford pear trees on park land west of Clinton Street, Paddock said.

Those fallen trees are being replaced with mature Bradford pear trees, which cost $750 each and stand about 8 to 12 feet tall, Paddock said. The alliance decided to replant mature trees because they should grow to the height of surviving adjacent trees within two to three years.

The park's tree canopy includes about 600 trees that have been planted on the 30-acre grounds, as well as trees growing naturally along the St. Marys River, Paddock said.

The new landscaping involves planting native grasses and some ground cover near the Hamilton Sisters sculpture, he said.

In all of the work, Paddock said the alliance tried to use plants that will survive wet springs, hot and dry summers, and a lot of foot traffic from park events, such as the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival.