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Planting a green welcome

Echo Press photo by Lowell Anderson In addition to landscaping around the sign, trees and shrubs were also planted in several other locations on the east side of the highway between 50th and 44th Avenue.

Volunteers worked with city and state workers to plant approximately 700 trees, shrubs and other plants near the new "Welcome to Alexandria" sign along Highway 29 South Wednesday morning.

The project, which is a partnership between the city of Alexandria, the Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), has been in the planning stages since last winter when the sign, which was paid for by Tastefully Simple, was installed.

The long-range goal, according to the Chamber, is to place similar signs near three other entrances to the city - Highway 29 North, Highway 27 East and Highway 27 West. The city also has the opportunity to work with MnDOT to provide additional landscaping on the west side of Highway 29 South and at other entry points in the future. For this, and other similar projects, MnDOT provides the design, equipment, plants and supplies, while the city agrees to provide volunteers to do much of the work.