A New Symbol of Community Spirit Takes Root in Martin City
Community Tree Project Intended to Grow Along With Neighborhood’s Future.
Martin City is an especially popular place during the holidays, attracting visitors who can’t resist the warm, hometown feeling of our classic restaurants, retail shops, and seasonal style lining streets and sidewalks. Lights are always part of our neighborhood’s appeal and this year a new idea sprouted among members of the Martin City Community Improvement District board of directors.
“We were talking about holiday lights and the idea of a tree came up,” explains Martin City District Manager Vickie Wolgast. “But it grew into more than a Christmas tree. The board saw an opportunity to do something a little bigger.”
The holidays are the highest priority but why stop there? How about a tree that’s more of a ‘community tree’ we can decorate for Christmas and other special events throughout the year? That’s how Martin City’s community tree project was born. Suddenly, Wolgast was on a mission to find a tree that could stand as a year-round tribute to our neighborhood’s enduring spirit and grow into a symbol of our blossoming renaissance.
“Everyone’s excited about it as a new attraction on our landscape, a new piece of Martin City’s story and yet another reason to visit our unique community. And the holidays are the perfect time to unveil it.”
Wolgast worked with experts at Rosehill Gardens in Martin City to pick out the right tree from the company’s expansive farm. While a ‘holiday tree’ theme is paramount, they skipped evergreens to ensure flexibility for seasons and events through the year. They also avoided trees that would grow way too tall to be easily managed. Wolgast says all things considered, a Redbud emerged as the winner.
“A Redbud makes a lot of sense. The branches will curve and stretch out, and the crown will round out nicely. Plus, the buds are beautiful in warmer months. It’s also resilient and thrives through tough conditions, just like Martin City itself.”
After choosing the tree, attention turned to where to plant it. The location would need to be cleared and landscaped. Plus, electricity would be necessary for the lights. A narrow strip of land on the north side of 135th Street turned out to be just right. It’s nestled between the sidewalk and the line of bushes in front of KC Running Company. The real estate belongs to Martin City Brewing Company owner Matt Moore who was quick to approve the idea. Then, Rosehill crews went to work.
While Rosehill generously wrapped the young tree in small, twinkling lights, Animated Lighting over on Wyandotte Street in Martin City delivered the big show complete with computerized patterns and colors for fantastic display themes to match occasions all year long. KC Pros Electric of Martin City volunteered all the electrical work to power up the possibilities.
“Martin City has a lot of destination appeal and it just keeps getting better,” says Wolgast, standing on the sidewalk, just feet from the new community tree. “Our tree’s location also highlights the fact that the heart of our neighborhood is bigger than visitors might think, extending all the way down this stretch of 135th Street.”
So make sure your holiday fun includes a swing through Martin City this year to celebrate our community’s latest attraction. Despite the pandemic, we’ve got more for you to check out than ever before. The food from family-owned restaurants, the gifts from local retail shops, the exciting new Santa’s Bakeshop, and now, our wonderful Martin City community tree dedicated to the spirit of our growing south Kansas City neighborhood.
On December 3, 2020, friends and supporters joined us on Facebook to watch us officially turn on the Community Tree Holiday lights. Watch the video below to see how pretty they are twinkling in the night sky!
THANK YOU to all the local Martin City businesses that donated time and resources to help us with this project. Watch the video below to see them all working to bring our Community Tree to life.