Planting a legacy around West Lafayette

A small cottage style free library filled with books and literature about trees. (WLFI photo)
A small cottage style free library filled with books and literature about trees. (WLFI photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A local group is honoring one of its founders.

Helen Lillich started the West Lafayette Tree Friends 35 years ago. She advocated for the planting of thousands of trees around West Lafayette.

Lillich passed away six years ago, but her legacy continues. On Thursday, one more tree was added to the thousands that have been planted.

People came out to show their support for the group’s progress. More help is needed, though, to keep Lillich’s dream of foresting West Lafayette alive.

“We also raise money to help the city purchase trees, either when they die or need replacing,” said Bill Evers, group chair. “For instance, 600 ash trees are dying now and need removed so we are helping raising money to replace those.”

Along with a tree, a Little Free Library was also added along the Kalberer Road tree trail. It will hold books and bookmarks with information about the trees. Evers said those trees are planted for research reasons to help replace species that are threatened locally.

“We’ve planted over 30 different varieties of trees, and we want to see they’re new, they’re hybrids and so forth. How well they do in the West Lafayette area over winters, and drought, and so forth, in the hopes that we find some good ones,” Evers said. “We can then use those to replace some of these ash trees.”

To help the efforts of the West Lafayette Tree Friends, you can make a donation online here.