MANSFIELD -- New trees will be planted in about three weeks on the lawn of the Richland County Administration Building, county commissioners said Thursday.
The 19 trees will be planted by Bellville's Wade Gardens Landscape and Gifts as part of an overall beautification plan he helped commissioners develop.
The planned trees include 10 Frontier Elms, six Amelanchier Autumn Brilliance (serviceberry) trees and three Royal Raindrop Flowering Crabapples (along the Diamond Street side of the building).
The overall plan includes new trees, various new plants, a Gold Star Family Memorial monument, relocated cannons, new grass, an additional sidewalk, improved lighting and more open areas.
The commissioners' decision to remove a dozen trees, primarily tulip poplars, in March was roundly criticized by a number of area residents. Commissioners said the older trees were removed for pedestrian safety from falling limbs and as part of the overall beautification plan.
Commissioners, who unveiled the beautification plan on April 9, met today with landscaper Tom Wade and Chuck Minich, the county's building maintenance superintendent.
The two men went over with commissioners a timeline for the beautification plan. Wade told commissioners he is ready to go with the trees.
"They can go in about anytime," Wade said. "There is no reason you can't."
In addition to the new trees, here are the things commissioners said today they planned to have done by Memorial Day:
-- fill in long planters on portico and add large temporary planters at the front of the building.
-- add left side concrete addition to the front walk and portico.
-- paint and power wash the four cannons on the lawn.
-- Increase the concrete half-circles on both sides of the front walk near the flag pole and small monument).
-- Reset the pole for the U.S. flag and make decisions on other flags based upon suggestions from local military veterans.
-- Add lighting along the front walk and sidewalks and directional lighting for monuments on the lawn.
-- Improve drainage on the lawn to prevent puddling of water.
-- fertilize, fill and re-seed the lawn.
By the time a new Gold Star Family Memorial is dedicated in November, commissioners plan to have a concrete pad installed for it, an apron pad around it and re-done planters on either side the of the walk onto the portico from Diamond Street.
Ground for the Gold Star memorial is expected to broken in July.
By the spring of 2020, commissioners said a new sidewalk from the front walk to Diamond Street (connecting to Central Park) should be done, along with a landscape bed in front of the Gold Star memorial, additional seating pods on the front lawn installed and educational plaques in place.