"Operation: Windbreak" to plant trees in Chippewa County
April 22, 2010 -- In support of the Chippewa/East Mackinac Conservation District's "Operation: Windbreak," the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will help plant 1,000 trees along M-28 and M-221 in Chippewa County beginning April 28.
"Operation: Windbreak" was started by the conservation district, which has been helping landowners plant windbreaks for more than 20 years. MDOT and the Chippewa County Office of Emergency Services then asked the district to help plant windbreaks along major roads to help improve winter driving conditions and safety.
"We're focusing on areas that typically see whiteout conditions during winter storm events," said Kevin Gouza, maintenance coordinator at MDOT's Newberry Transportation Service Center. "These windbreaks will benefit motorists, our maintenance crews, and emergency services personnel."
With financial support from the Cloverland Electric Cooperative, Waste Management and the Chippewa County Office of Emergency Services; volunteers from the U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan Works, and the community; and technical assistance from the Chippewa County Road Commission and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, several traffic corridors were identified that would benefit from tree windbreaks. This combined effort resulted in 3,500 trees planted along I-75, M-129 and M-28 in the last two years.
The group plants two-year-old white spruce trees, which are about 8-12 inches tall. Once established, these trees grow well and form a good windbreak.
For information on how to become involved in the project, contact Dustine King, at the Chippewa/East Mackinac Conservation District office (906-635-1278), or Tim McKee at the Chippewa County Office of Emergency Services at 906-495-7488.
For up-to-date information on MDOT projects, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive
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MDOT says: Construction work zones need your undivided attention.