The Glen Lake Association and the Re-Arbor Glen Arbor Fund will host a free Arbor Day workshop focusing on ways to responsibly restore damaged property following the August 2015 storm.

“A lot of properties have been cleaned up and people are salvaging trees that made it,” says Rob Karner, water biologist for the Glen Lake Association. “The next step is the healing process; replanting and revegetating damaged areas. The purpose of the workshop is to help people do it right.”

The workshop is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 29 in the Karman Activity Center at the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor.

FullSizeRender (9)A morning panel discussion will include:

  • Brian Macdonell, president of Traverse City Outdoor Inc.
  • Kevin Skerl, chief of natural resources at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Tom Fountain, director of environmental health for the Benzie-Leelanau County Health Department
  • Paul Gerhart, forester for Cooper-Gerhart Consulting Forestry LLC

The panel will discuss how to plant with appropriate trees, shrubs and ground cover; how to ensure septic system integrity; and how to mitigate fire risk. There will be a question-and-answer period, and lunch will be provided, courtesy of the Utopia Foundation and Cherry Republic.

In the afternoon, there will be a vendor expo with local businesses that can help with sustainable restoration. Free tree saplings will be available from the Leelanau Conservation District.

“It’s a 25- to 50-year process to get the properties back to their original state,” Rob says. “The key is to be patient.”

While some residents and land owners may want to quickly restore their property, trees that grow quickly are subject to deer browsing, which can cause irreparable damage. “It’s a tricky proposition for residents to pick the right species of trees,” Rob says.

The Glen Lake Association will also hold a tree planting workshop on Saturday, May 14. Visit for more information.

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Photo(s) by Jill Hayes