A Hellertown junior council member has an ambitious vision for the relatively barren I-78 interchange at the borough’s northern entrance, and it involves planting 100 trees…but only if he is able to raise the funds needed to purchase them.
Noah Kates, 16, first proposed the idea earlier this summer, which is his second as a junior councilman.
“I decided to start the Hellertown Tree Project because I wanted to make a difference in the Hellertown community,” said Kates, who lives in the area but attends school out of state. “I noticed that visitors traveling through Hellertown had a primary perception of Hellertown that did not do justice to the great place the residents love and know.”
He said he believes planting trees at the gateway could help improve people’s initial impressions of Hellertown, be a stepping stone to further development and attract new visitors to the area.
“As a resident of the larger Hellertown area and Junior Councilperson for the borough, I felt a responsibility to take this opportunity for change into my own hands,” he added.
Kates said he hopes to reach his fundraising goal of $5,500 and purchase the trees by the end of September, if not earlier.
According to the GoFundMe page he has established in order to raise the money, anyone who contributes $50 or more to the Hellertown Tree Project will be recognized on a memorial plaque that will be installed at the site.
Each tree will cost approximately $35, and additional funds may be used to help cover costs associated with planting the trees.
Kates said volunteer help would also be appreciated.
“The best time to plant trees is in the fall, and the necessary fundraising must be allocated before be can start planting,” he said. “Once my goal is reached, the planting process will be immediate.”
Kates will be sharing information about and accepting donations toward the Hellertown Tree Project at a booth he will have at Hellertown-Lower Saucon Community Day in Dimmick Park on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To contact him directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org.