By Karen Cernich
Trees of Treloar Project Creates Mini Arboretum Along the Katy Trail
When a steady rain that would continue into the night began to fall Sunday afternoon, Oct. 18, Bill Spradley of Trees, Forests & Landscapes, Kirkwood, must have been pleased. It was exactly what the newly planted Trees of Treloar needed.
Just days earlier, Bill and his friend Mike Rood of Pea Ridge Forest in Hermann, had finished planting the last of 34 native Missouri trees in a half-acre size lot where the old Treloar Bar and Grill used to stand, a stone’s throw from the Katy Trail. The circa 1890s building, which had been vacant since 2012, was not salvageable, so Dan and Connie Burkhardt purchased the property in January, envisioning how it could better support the mission of Magnificent Missouri, a nonprofit Dan founded in 2012 with the late John McPheeters “to conserve and increase appreciation of the Katy Trail and the last 100 miles of the Missouri River Valley through education, events and collaborative projects.”
The property was in foreclosure and the building was crumbling, so Dan and Connie seized the opportunity. They had the building razed to clear a space for their tree project.
Jason Marschel of Marschel Wrecking, who grew up in the area and joined the board of Magnificent Missouri earlier this year, led the demolition work and then graded and seeded the land to prepare it for planting the Trees of Treloar, a project that matches the Peers Prairie collaboration between Magnificent Missouri and Missouri State Parks that was installed in the patch of ground between the Katy Trail and Peers Store.
“What we are trying to do is give people some conservation along with their recreation,” Dan said. “The Katy Trail, everybody thinks about it as a place to ride bikes and have fun, and it is, but we want to show off something about native Missouri trees. Before being cleared for today’s farm fields, the river bottom near Treloar was filled with pecan, oak and sycamore trees. The Trees of Treloar will be a place to celebrate Magnificent Missouri’s goal of reforesting areas along the Katy Trail . . . to provide shade and beauty for trail users, habitat for wildlife and pollinators, and runoff control for a healthy watershed.”
And the Trees of Treloar are just the beginning. “The Katy Trail is kind of a showplace for trees, and we want to plant more trees up and down the trail between Hermann and St. Charles,” Dan said.