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Bakerton VFD secures grant for tree planting

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Oct 9, 2020

Ashlee Young and Mike Winters work together to plant trees at Bakerton Volunteer Fire Department, thanks to a grant from the Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council. Toni Milbourne

BAKERTON — Bakerton Volunteer Fire Department has received a $5,000 Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council grant, to help plant trees around its station house.

BVFD member Ashlee Young applied for the grant, after she became aware of the availability of funds through the Dolley Madison Garden Club, of which she is also a member.

“There is a lot of community outreach involved,” Young said, mentioning the grant’s tree planting choices include several fruit trees, along with hardwoods and an evergreen.

“The evergreen will be used for an annual tree lighting for members of the community,” Young said, mentioning that this will be the first year the BVFD will hold its holiday celebration with a live tree. Last year’s holiday celebration was the first one the BVFD has held.

Mike Winters and Will Wooten, of Thirty Seasons Lawn and Landscape Maintenance in Shepherdstown, helped plant the trees and provide additional detailed landscape work around the BVFD flagpole.

“The types of trees we have planted include Yoshino cherries and scarlet oaks,” Winters said. “The evergreen is a Cryptomeria Yoshino and we also planted Kousa dogwood which are actually edible.”

Approximately a dozen trees were added to the property at the Bakerton Volunteer Fire Department, which serves as a central location for the small settlement. The planting of shrubs and perennials also took place last week.

On the same day as the trees were planted, Bakerton welcomed Natalie Hobdy, owner of Firehouse Subs in Martinsburg. The department recently received a $20,000 grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation.

According to Ashlee’s husband, Jason Young, grant funding is essential to making sure newer fire departments, like the BVFD, are equipped for emergencies. Jason himself recently successfully applied for a grant that allowed the BVFD to purchase new hoses and other needed fire truck equipment.

“Bakerton is a relatively new department,” Jason said, mentioning the company was founded in 2006 and moved into their current station in 2008.

Members of one of the county’s newer departments work hard to be of service to their community, not only by answering calls for fire and emergency medical service, but by being good neighbors and opening their department as a place for gatherings. By improving the station’s landscaping and planting trees on its property, the BVFD is ensuring its station will be a welcoming place for visitors and members alike, for years to come.