Farmer’s donation aids lake project

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 4, 1999

He’s not a lumberjack, but for the past week, Ken Nelson has been cutting down a lot of trees.

Saturday, December 04, 1999

He’s not a lumberjack, but for the past week, Ken Nelson has been cutting down a lot of trees.

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The rural Albert Lean has donated about 200 trees from his tree farm to the Albert Lea Lake Restoration Committee.

Nelson has been selling the trees for a $50 donation. He hoped to sell 200 and earn $10,000 for the committee. On the tree farm, he has rows of blue spruce, Norway spruce, Norway pine and white pine.

Already, he’s sold over 100 trees, and he’s done so with a smile.

&uot;I’ve been on the lake committee what I considered the third time in 12 years,&uot; he said. &uot;This group seems to be planning and they want to make things happen.&uot;

And the group will likely be more able to make things happen with Nelson’s donation.

Nelson knew his tree farm would need to be thinned this winter.

&uot;I added up all the numbers in my head and threw them out on the table. I think they had the coupons printed before I even finished talking,&uot; Nelson joked.

Other members of the committee have been helping out on the weekends as well.

Nelson enjoys the opportunity to visit with people about the trees and Albert Lea Lake.

&uot;Most people don’t realize how big this part of the lake is,&uot; Nelson said. &uot;We don’t get a lot of boaters here, but when they do find their way, they’re surprised to see what’s here.&uot;

They’re also surprised to see the variety and quality of trees Nelson has donated.

Some are tall and thin, others are short and full. There’s a tree to suit anyone.

Nelson cuts the trees down. &uot;I’ve developed a knack over the years to know where the tree is going to fall,&uot; he said.

He’s had a couple families who said they usually use artificial trees, but decided to get a live tree to benefit the lake committee.

&uot;It does my heart a lot of good that people are moved to get a living tree and donate to the project,&uot; Nelson said.

About five families have indicated they bought trees mainly to support the committee.

Nelson has also seen a couple of the trees outside of churches around town, a sight he enjoys. Also, a family from Clear Lake, Iowa, sent him a picture of their decorated tree.