Rotarians from as far away as Puerto Peñasco, Mexico – in Utah on a Rotary friendship exchange –
gathered on a beautiful fall Saturday morning to plant dozens of trees. Murray Rotary Club, along
with partners TreeUtah, and the Joe and Kathleen Sorenson Legacy Foundation joined hands in this
effort and provided manpower to place trees in Murray City’s Germania Park along the banks of the
Jordan River Parkway.
As Rotarians know, Rotary International’s newest – and 7th – area of focus is “protecting the
environment.” With this goal in mind, Rotary District Governor Jose Velasco encouraged Utah
Rotary clubs to plant while Murray Rotarian Jerry Summerhays applied to the JKS Legacy
Foundation for project funding. Then twenty-four Utah Rotary clubs embraced the project, each
contributing one-third of the cost for their club to participate. The remaining two-thirds is funded
from a $100,000 grant award from the JKS Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization which
promotes charitable, artistic, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors.
TreeUtah’s mission is centered around placing large trees in public spaces throughout the state,
including city parks and school playgrounds. This non-profit organization also works to build public
awareness of the value and need for maintained, healthy urban forests.
Jerry Summerhays, Chair of District 5420’s tree project is grateful to all involved including Murray,
St. George, Hurricane Valley, Cedar City, Tooele, Salt Lake, Millcreek, Brigham City, Park City,
Bountiful, Hispano-Latinos of Salt Lake, Holladay, Lehi, Park City Sunrise, Roosevelt, Richfield, West
Jordan, Ogden, Spanish Fork, Orem-Lindon, Logan, South Valley, Cache Valley and Layton Rotary
“Nearly all the grant money has been allocated. Some clubs have completed their project, some have
finished most of their planting and a few are still waiting for spring weather, but all are committed
to completing this important project by the deadline of June 30,” notes Summerhays.
For more information, email Jerry Summerhays at firstname.lastname@example.org.