Leadership Marshfield Group Project: Community Reforestation

Connor Park, Marshfield | TriMedia photo

Leadership Marshfield Project

Throughout the next couple of weeks, OnFocus will take a deeper look at some of this year’s Leadership Marshfield projects.


Background: The purpose and objective of Leadership Marshfield is to identify current and potential leaders in the community and provide a training program that will enhance their ability to function as more effective leaders. They will be better equipped to face the issues, problems, and challenges that will determine our community’s future.

Leadership Marshfield is a program of the Marshfield Area Chamber Foundation supported by the Leadership Council, volunteers, Chamber staff, and a strong Alumni network.
MACCI’s first Leadership Class graduated in May 1993. The 2019 class was recruited in the summer of 2018. Members participate in a series of eight informative one-day programs and develop group projects designed to meet each individual’s interests and community needs.

The purpose of the community project is to provide participants with an additional educational experience beyond the monthly sessions. Participants select their projects after learning about opportunities confronting the community and according to their interests.


Project Name: Community Reforestation Project

Team Members: Davina Nelson, Marci Spindler, Chris Damerell, Ginger Sternweis, Ben Steinbach

Urban forestry is the focus of a Leadership Marshfield project which will see 40 trees planted annually in Marshfield.

The group will oversee the construction of a gravel tree bed at Wildwood Park & Zoo while educating on the numerous benefits of an urban forest, which include providing food and habitat for animals, improved air quality, and reduced pollution.

“We have seen similar projects done in other communities and even in Marshfield. Knowing the importance of a urban forest and the many benefits trees have on our community, we wanted to expand and take the next step,” said Ben Steinbach, group member.

A gravel tree bed holds bare root trees for 3-6 months to develop healthy root systems. When purchased in bulk, these trees are half the price of a container tree and 75% less expensive than balled and burlapped trees. When planted in gravel, trees are more likely to survive, with less root loss during transplanting.

Planting can be staged throughout the growing season, even into fall. Tree species will be rotated based on community needs. Currently, there are over 70 species of trees in the city.

As part of its education efforts, the group will display signage that will cover topics such as the Benefits of Urban Forests, What is a Gravel Tree Bed, The Benefits of a Gravel Tree Bed, Trees and Animals that Need Them, All About Trees, and Counting the Age of a Tree.

“We want to display a gravel tree bed in an area where people can see it and hopefully take the time to investigate, see what the gravel bed is and does, read the educational signage and maybe even volunteer to help plant a tree,” said Steinbach.

Construction of the 20×40 foot gravel tree bed will occur this spring with planting in late August with local Marshfield Boy and Girl Scout Troops. The Parks, Recreation and Forestry Committee agreed to be partner for the project, ensuring a location and its sustainability for years to come.

Donors include the Marshfield Parks and Recreations Department, Marshfield Utilities, Staab Construction, Doine Excavating, Sternweis & Sons, Quik Print LLC, Marshfield Sunrise Rotary, Marshfield Leadership Alumni, and Ed and Deb Englehart.