An effort to raise funds to treat ash trees in Schiller Park has surpassed the goal organizers set, which will lead to more trees being planted at the park.

An effort to raise funds to treat ash trees in Schiller Park has surpassed the goal organizers set, which will lead to more trees being planted at the park.

Lindy Michael, director of the park's arboretum fund, said $10,000, almost twice the amount of the original goal, was received since the fundraiser was announced in November.

The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department's Schiller chapter of the community recreation council agreed to match $3,000 in community donations for treatment of ash trees.

"I'm so appreciative of all the generosity of all the German Village residents and people all over who hold Schiller Park near and dear to their hearts," Michael said.

Ann Lilly, who lives in the neighborhood, has been a regular contributor to the arboretum fund and the various gardening groups at the park. She said she is not surprised people mobilized when they heard of the impending emerald ash borer situation.

"Suddenly, we had a problem, so we rose to meet the occasion," she said. "It was the appropriate thing to do."

The original plan was to collect $5,226, enough money to treat 30 trees, by May 1. Application of the treatments would ward off an infestation of the emerald ash borer, which destroys the trees. Because a new treatment method is available, applications can be done every two years instead of every year.

"Realistically, I don't know if we'll be able to save all of them but we'll try," Michael said.

Also, $800 of the money raised will go toward the planting of four new trees. The city of Columbus will contribute an additional four.

The rest of the money will remain in the fund for future activities, Michael said.

Of the eight new trees, three river birches will be planted near the Schiller Park pond to replace a champion birch that died.

A red oak tree will be placed in front of the recreation center, replacing a chinkapin, a type of white oak. A yoshino cherry, an ornamental tree, will be located on the right entrance of recreation center.

On Reinhard Avenue, at the South Third Street entrance of the Schiller Park, a European ash tree, which died, is being replaced with a State Street maple, a new tree to the park.

A cherry and an elm will be planted on the west end of the picnic grounds.

Michael said the goal is to plant 30 trees over the next few years.

"We want the park to look more woodsy, the way it used to," she said.

The arboretum fund always is accepting financial contributions. Donations can be made to the German Village Society in care of the arboretum fund, 588 S. Third St., Columbus 43206. Of the money donated for new plantings, 30 percent will be earmarked for future ash borer treatments.

On a related note, the arboretum fund group is leading a mulching effort at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 15. Volunteers are encouraged to register with Michael at mvmichael25@yahoo.com.