Soldotna Parks and Recreation employees Brock Kant, left, and Kenneth Butler plant trees along the Sterling Highway in Soldotna on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Parks and Recreation employees Brock Kant, left, and Kenneth Butler plant trees along the Sterling Highway in Soldotna on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

More greenery coming to Soldotna

The city planted around 43 trees in 2019 and plans to put another 43 in the ground this summer.

Soldotna is getting a whole lot greener this spring.

That’s because the City of Soldotna and Parks and Recreation are planting trees downtown along the Sterling Highway.

John Czarnezki, the director of economic development and planning with the city, said the trees are part of city beautification plans, and funded by the City of Soldotna capital budget.

“It’s about a larger project to make our downtown more attractive,” he said, noting that the city hopes it will encourage people to invest in the local economy.

Kenneth Butler, with Parks and Recreation maintenance, and Brock Kant, a laborer, were out in Soldotna planting trees on Tuesday afternoon.

Butler said it was originally a two-year project beginning in 2019, but that the department was forced to halt last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We… [are] basically trying to keep our city grade up to par with everyone else,” Butler said.

Butler said they planted around 43 trees in 2019 and plan to put another 43 in the ground this summer. The flower baskets in town are also a product of the project.

Czarnezki said landowners and members of the local business scene have expressed interest in additional city beautification projects.

Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the plantings were financed by a state right-of-way grant. The funding came from the City of Soldotna capital budget.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

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