Interact Club working to bring “Elm City” nickname back to Jacksonville

By Ryne Turke on May 3, 2016 at 7:16am

Jacksonville High School is teaming up with the local Rotary Club to increase the elm tree population in the city.

Rotarian Paul Kluge oversees the Interact Club, made up of students looking to participate in service projects to better the community.

According to Kluge, Jacksonville was known as “Elm City” in the 1950’s. Kluge says the Interact Club is hard at work trying to bring that nickname back.

“We’re going out to the high school to put a large tree trunk on the wall. Kids can purchase leaves to put on the tree. Their money will go towards purchasing a tree for the State and Main Street area.  We have a GoFundMe account on Facebook where you can donate money,” says Kluge.

Kluge says the Interact Club’s elm fundraiser mission is another example of the group’s dedication to public service.

“We have a good group of kids who come out there to get involved. They step forward to become leaders. We are building them for their future to go to college, join a Rotaract Club and then onto Rotary,” says Kluge.

Kluge hopes the Interact Club can raise $1,500 to purchase five elm trees. The project will run throughout the summer and into next year.