MANSFIELD — Josh Maurer and Michael Henry, owners of the Alta Florist & Greenhouse, originally thought the business was founded in 1947.

“The granddaughter of the founder came to us as she ripped through her family album and corrected us very sternly last year that our (founding) was in 1923,” Josh Maurer told Mansfield City Council this week.

That correction led to a memorable donation from Mauer and Henry, whose business is located at 935 S. Home Road in Mansfield.

“We both sit on the (Mansfield) Shade Tree Commission, but we also are the family owners of Alta Florist and Greenhouse. 

“We were getting ready to push the order button on free giveaways for different things, umbrellas and whatnot. We thought instead of something that’s going to last you maybe six months or a year in your car, why not give back to the community and donate trees that are going to be here for hundreds of years to come,” Mauer said.

The owners made the decision to donate 100 trees to the Mansfield Shade Tree Commission in honor of that 100 years of business.

“In way of our anniversary for 100 years, we decided to give back to the city where our home pride has been,” Maurer said.

Mayor Tim Theaker said he was thrilled with the donation, worth $15,259.

“The donation totally took us by surprise,” Theaker said. “Alta has been so very generous with donations in the past, and Mr. Maurer and Mr. Henry’s service on the Commission has been invaluable.”

Maurer has served 17 years on the commission and Henry has been a member for 18 years.

Throughout their tenure, they have volunteered countless hours to residents and the city with their recommendations, Theaker said.

They have also worked with other members to host bi-yearly public education meetings, education in the schools, coordinated the annual Arbor Day Celebration, developed a “walking Arboretum” along the bike trail and many other tasks.

“It is because of their commitment, along with other members of the commission, we have been able to maintain our Tree City USA status for 28 years,” Theaker said.

“Not only have they donated these beautiful trees, but also have taken on more hours of volunteering as they will be marking the locations for the trees to be planted.

“This coordinated effort and their generosity to the City of Mansfield is greatly appreciated,” the 

Due to budget restraints, when trees had to be removed, there were no funds to replace the trees, according to the mayor.

Theaker said the 100 trees will be used to help replace trees in areas requiring attention.

“The City of Mansfield accepts this donation with sincere gratitude and look forward to joining Alta when they officially celebrate 100 years of service to our community in August,” Theaker said.

The Clearfork Reservoir area, which lost many trees due to the storms of 2022, will receive 30 trees — 10 Burr Oak and 20 London Plane trees.

These trees will be planted by Lexington Scout Troop #152 with the assistance of leaders and staff of Clearfork.

The remaining 70 trees — 30 Crabapple and 40 Purple Leaf Flowering Plum — will be planted in various locations throughout the city in areas that require replacement trees.

The Rotary Club of Mansfield has volunteered to take the planting of the trees as their project for the 27th annual Earth Stewardship Celebration, and one of their service projects.

Several years ago, these same members planted six trees in Central Park as part of their 100-year anniversary.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...

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