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Canadian National Railroad awards tree grants to Stevens Point and Wausau


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- Two central Wisconsin communities received a grant from the Canadian National Railroad to be used for adding trees to local developments.

In Stevens Point, trees will be planted along E.M. Copps Drive in the new East Park Commerce Center. Mayor Andrew Halverson says the city and railroad share the desire to add more trees. “Being an eco-municipality and a leader when it comes to investment, green technology, and those initiatives which we embrace and codify in many cases via our ordinances, that’s a huge part of what we view as a community as a priority, and we share those same priorities with CN.”

City Forester Todd Ernster says planting more trees will happen next spring, and will include a variety of species.  “With that money, a diversity of trees from Kentucky Coffee Tree, Burr Oak, Maple, Honey Locust, for the benefits that the trees provide.”

Canadian National Railway’s Director of Governmental Affairs is Kevin Soucie, who says the railroad’s grant program for green projects is important.  “It’s part of our giving back to the community, and making the communities we operate in better places to live, and part of that effort is making them greener, making them safer, and more sustainable, and that’s what this is about.”

The railroad awarded $25,000 to Stevens Point for tree plantings in the new East Park Commerce Center, which also has the potential for large industrial developments right next to the rail line. Soucie says they also awarded Wausau $25,000 to add trees near the Holtz-Krause soccer complex.  “In Wausau, it’s a little different situation. They’re developing a soccer field, and we’re contributing some trees to create a buffer between the soccer field and our railroad tracks. Again, it’s to make it greener, safer, and a better place to live.”