2016-05-12 / News

Shumaker’s arboreal legacy continues

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com


Sharon Shumaker helps plant a memorial tree for her late husband, Michael R. Shumaker, at Elms Park. 
Photos by Lania Rocha Sharon Shumaker helps plant a memorial tree for her late husband, Michael R. Shumaker, at Elms Park. Photos by Lania Rocha SWARTZ CREEK – Plans for a memorial to a former city councilman are moving right along.

A tree was planted at Elms Park on Tuesday to honor Michael R. Shumaker, the city councilman who died in February. A half-moon-shaped bench is being built to go along with the tree.

Shumaker was active in many community groups including the Historical Society, the Kiwanis Club and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board which oversees park maintenance and improvement projects.

Shumaker’s widow, Sharon, purchased the 12-foot river birch from H&M Landscaping in Gaines Township, using funds contributed to a non-designated fund at the time of her husband’s funeral.

“I am going to send everyone who donated to that fund a Thank You note and tell them that they helped plant that tree,” she said.


Dan Bachmeier, production manager, and Brandon McVay, landscape technician, place the river birch in its new home at Elms Park. The men set up the tree so that motorists on Jennie Lane will be able to see all three stems when they look into Elms Park. 
Photos by Lania Rocha Dan Bachmeier, production manager, and Brandon McVay, landscape technician, place the river birch in its new home at Elms Park. The men set up the tree so that motorists on Jennie Lane will be able to see all three stems when they look into Elms Park. Photos by Lania Rocha The river birch will thrive in the wet, grassy area between the tennis court and driveway, Shumaker said. That variety of birch also is more resistant the bronze birch borer beetle.

The tree has three stems, and is expected to live about 50 years, growing up to 30 feet tall, she said.

“It’s fast-growing, and it has a nice shape,” she said.

Sharon Shumaker’s brothers are building the bench, which will be inscribed with the names Michael Shumaker, David Ketzler and Ronald Vincent, the trio credited with much of the forestation in the city.

“I thought this is important,” Sharon Shumaker said. “And Mike would love it.”

She also has volunteered to spruce up Bicentennial Park on the southeast corner of Miller and Morrish roads.

“You can’t read the signs,” she said. “I’d like to get that cleaned up. Mike had said the park had a lot of flowers at one time. I’d like to return it to that and make it look better.”

Return to top

Copyright 2010-2017 The Swartz Creek View, All Rights Reserved

Click here for digital edition
2016-05-12 digital edition