News Archive -- National Public Lands Day - Planting the Gary Trescott Memorial Grove

City of Great Falls Montana


DATE:  September 24, 2012

CONTACT: Marty Basta, Director


GREAT FALLS, Montana – Gary Trescott planted hundreds of trees along River's Edge Trail over the last 15 years. Gary had Multiple Sclerosis and did all this from his wheelchair and cart.  He would receive his order of bare root stock each year and line up Boy Scouts, family members and volunteers to plant, stake, mulch and water them. Some of these trees that came 100 to a small bundle are now well over 20' tall and provide beauty, shade and habitat along our riverfront.  He passed away in June at age 62.

Gary Trescott Grove will be planted in his honor in West Bank Park on September 29th. Thanks to a generous $5,000 gift from NorthWestern Energy, 62 trees have been purchased.  They will be delivered to the site Saturday morning.  Employees of NorthWestern Energy will plant, cover, stake, tie, mulch and water the new trees.  The new trees will also be armored against beavers by wire enclosures.

Community volunteers from Great Falls Pre Release Center and several Montana Conservation Corps crew leaders will help the Park & Recreation Department and Recreational Trails, Inc. get the site prepared for the Saturday planting.  Topsoil, mulch, auguring the holes, steel stakes, some tools and a water truck are being provided by the Great Falls Park & Recreation Department. 

A recently adopted Master Plan for West Bank Park recommends hundreds of trees be added, but there is currently no City funding available to implement the Plan.  Gary was a participant in the West Bank Park planning process.  It was his favorite park.  Gary believed that the best time to plant a tree is a year ago.  Get them in the ground was his view.

The densely planted grove will also serve as a tree nursery.  Some of the young trees planted by NorthWestern Energy employees on Saturday will be transplanted in coming years to other West Bank Park sites identified in the Master Plan, as those Phases are constructed.  All the new trees will grow in memory of  Gary Trescott as the park is slowly, but surely, transformed into the vision of the Master Plan.

Contact information:  Doug Wicks, President, Recreational Trails, Inc. 788.3313; Marty Basta, Great Falls Park & Recreation Director, 771.1265; Scott Patera, Community Relations Mgr., NorthWestern Energy, 454.7169