Volunteers work to restore Studebaker tree sign

An effort is on to clean-up invasive plants and maintain the world's longest living advertising sign.

Friday volunteers gathered to clear trees to help save the living Studebaker tree sign.

Last summer the St. Joseph County Parks Department decided to raise money and restore the trees after receiving some matching grants.

Since that time a professional company was hired to remove the large dead Pine trees.

Now it's time to clear away trees that have overcrowded the letters like Maple, Ash and Cherry trees, so the Pine trees can continue to grow.

You could say it's an effort to literally save a piece of South Bend's history.

Evelyn Kirkwood, executive director from the St. Joseph County Parks Director says, “So they'll always be a little fuzzy. What we are trying to pre-empt essentially is other trees growing up inside is all of the letters that spell Studebaker and don't crowd out those letters so much that the pine trees escalate their dying process.”

Volunteers will gather again a few this fall to continue to restore the trees.

The letters will never be as crisp and clear as they once were but if they weren't tended to the letters would eventually blend together and the Pine trees would die.

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