The daok seedling the Rotary Club of Saipan planted on Nov. 7 as part of its groundbreaking of its children’s park project in Kagman has been stolen.
Rotary Club president Laila Y. Boyer told Rotary members the theft of the seedling during the club’s weekly meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan yesterday.
“A week ago past president Pete Schilling noticed that the seedling was gone. He has been going to the Kagman Community Center every two weeks to water the tree. One day last week the whole thing was gone—the tree [seedling], the rebar. We would just like to inform the community that these native plants are available at the Division of Agriculture’s Forestry program for free.”
Boyer appealed to the community to keep the seedling where it’s planted once the Rotary Club replaces it.
“It was really symbolic for us because we had our district governor assist us in planting the tree. It is something that we wanted her to come back one day and see it. We’re going to replace and I want to appeal to the community to keep in mind when we do replace it, we would like it to remain there and grow and that they can get these trees at the local department.”
Schilling said he has no idea who took the seedling. “It is anyone’s guess as to who or why anyone would take the daok we planted. All I can tell you is that after planting and watering it twice, on the third visit, the tree was gone and so was the rebar holding it upright.”
The local Rotary Club broke ground on its $60,000 Rotary Healthy Living Family Park project early last month in the presence of Rotary district governor Isako Funaki and other dignitaries from Japan.
The civic group planted the daok seedling as part of the groundbreaking.
Boyer said the tree specie is abundant on the island and is known for its shading capability. She said they also chose to plant a daok seedling because its wood is hard and is of excellent quality and is used to make boats, timber, carabao carts, and large canoes. Its leaves can also be soaked in water and used as a remedy for sore eyes and is also good for the skin as a moisturizer.