About a month ago, Polly Cady contacted Save the Family to inquire if they were in need of trees on any of their properties.  She explained the international project with a goal of each Rotarian planting a tree by April 21, 2018.  She received an immediate response from Steve Langstaff, Chief Property Development Officer, of Save the Family.  Don LaBarge and Polly met with Steve to assess the need and then went to TreeLand Nurseries where they were given a good deal on 15 trees and needed supplies.
Friday, April 13, a few Mesa West Rotarians met at Save the Family on University Drive in Mesa to remove stumps and start the holes for planting the trees to be planted on Saturday.  Don LaBarge, along with Steve Langstaff, guided and helped Warren Haussler, Bob Zarling, Allan and Polly Cady in removal of stumps from the dead trees that were to be replaced.  Due to improper planting, there were many dead trees on the Save the Family property.   It was hard work,  and the volunteer Rotarians wished the Interact Club could have been there to help.   Even though it was very hard work, Polly said "We had good fellowship!"
CLICK HERE to see all the photos taken on Friday, April 13, 2018 - the day of preparation.
Saturday, April 14, Mesa West Rotary  and family of Rotary volunteers along with volunteers from the Westwood High School Interact Club arrived at Save the Family and waited for Todd Hansen from Top Leaf to arrive to give them expert advice and demonstrate how to properly plant trees.  Todd donated his time and expertise, and stayed a while to watch and guide the work as it was being done.

Mesa West volunteers who participated in the planting were Chris Krueger, with her husband, Mike; John Hunt, Bob Zarling, Robert LaBarge, Don LaBarge, Allan and Polly Cady.  Steve Langstaff of Save the Family also pitched in and was a big help.  John Hunt seemed to be really into the project.  Chris Krueger helped cut the plastic bucket off the tree to get it ready for planting!  

Mesa West Rotary's outbound youth exchange student, Yordi, stood proudly alongside an Interactor as well as Don LaBarge, Chris Krueger and John Hunt with their first successfully planted tree.
Todd Hansen from Top Leaf arrived and donated some of his morning to show the volunteers how to plant a tree properly.  He stayed a while to watch and guide the work as it was being done.
Mike Krueger is shown in a couple of photos with Interact kids.  All were digging.  In another photo a couple of Interact students were taking turns digging in one of the hardest holes. 
 Tree expert, Todd, helped out by softening soil for digging.  It took several volunteers working tenaciously to finally get a tree in that harder hole.  There was cause for celebration when they finally got that tree planted!

Two of the Interact girls who worked together were amazing.  They seemed to know a lot about what they were doing, and did not mind getting their hands dirty.  Mike Krueger was a good instructor!  A photo captured a moment when John Hunt was taking a well-deserved break.
After the planting was completed, all the volunteers gathered for a group shots, glad to be finished with the project yet feeling very proud!  A couple of Interact students were jumping for joy at the good job they did! 
Special thanks to Don LaBarge for the use of his shovels, tools, organization guidance and referring Todd Hansen to help.  Also, a thank you goes to Steve Langstaff from Save the Family for his "digging" in there with the Rotarians, their family members, and Westwood High School Interact students.  Polly said "It was a very fun day and with all the help we had, we got the trees planted by a little after 11:00 a.m.  The students were very good workers."

Steve Langstaff was given advice from Todd Hansen of Top Leaf as to watering and maintenance of the new trees.  This project will be a sustainable one and something Mesa West Rotarians can take a look at and be proud of.  The trees will be here longer than most of the volunteers involved.  We can thank RI President Ian Risely for inspiring the planting of trees around the world!  
CLICK HERE to see all the photos taken on Saturday, April 14, 2018 - the day of planting.