It's just part of living: Iowa man pays it forward to future generations

Dr. George North

For about 30 years, retired dentist Dr. George north of Allison, Iowa, has been instrumental in growing and developing Wilder Park in Butler County. North says his dedication to the park started when he served as a scout leader and he and his Boy Scouts helped plant 250-300 trees.

“Rarely when you plant trees do you get to see the result of that activity,” North says. “Trees don’t grow that fast. Fortunately, I’ve lived long enough to see the fruition of the vision.” Today, the park features more than 100 different tree species and is home to an uncommon species arboretum, a perfect addition since the park is one of the state’s major outdoor classrooms.

North says it’s all about giving back to the community, something he has lived by his entire life. “I think you’re obligated to give back. Part of life’s responsibility is to pay it forward, give back to your community, do what you can to facilitate the growth and ambiance. To me, that’s just part of living,” North says.

North is one of three winners of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa’s Shine the Light contest, a contest launched in June 2021 to highlight members’ commitment to community. Both member-consumers and employees of Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives were invited to nominate volunteers who are working to improve quality of life in their communities. North was nominated by Deb McWhirter, a member of Basin Electric Class C member Butler Country Rural Electric Cooperative.

Winners of the contest were awarded with a $1,500 donation to their charity or community organization of choice. Read about the other two winners in Shining examples of commitment to community, in the winter issue of Basin Today.

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