To honor Fred A. Erb’s 100th Birthday and Commemorate $100M in Grants, the Foundation Will Plant 100 Trees and Make Other Improvements to the Royal Oak Arboretum
By John Erb, Chair, and Leslie Erb-Liedtke, Trustee
On February 11, 2023, our family will celebrate what would’ve been our father’s (Fred A. Erb) 100th birthday. There’s no easy way to honor and remember a person who had such varied interests and made widespread impact, but we think Dad would be proud of the Foundation’s choice to plant 100 trees and add park amenities at the Royal Oak Arboretum – fitting for a man who established his legacy in the building industry and whose family has been part of Royal Oak history for generations.
When our Dad wasn’t listening to jazz music or going to the theatre, he was very focused on the future of the environment and the world in which his kids and grandkids would grow up. He and our Mom felt a great sense of urgency when it came to improving Great Lakes water quality, reducing runoff, and advancing sustainable businesses. Trees play a critical role in all those things, filtering air, controlling stormwater, and providing shade.
The Foundation’s grant to the Royal Oak Civic Foundation will make it possible for the City of Royal Oak to plant 100 trees in the arboretum over the next two years to expand its collection of native plantings. It will also support the addition of benches, picnic tables, interpretive signage, and specialized maintenance.
This is all taking place at a time when the Foundation our parents established also reached a substantial milestone — having made more than $100 million in grants to organizations across southeast Michigan and the Great Lakes region. This month, our family also celebrates and congratulates the Erb Family Foundation for their progress and impact in metro Detroit and the Great Lakes.
Dad would say it’s kismet that on his 100th birthday the Foundation reached a total of more than $100 million in grants.
About the Arboretum
Located at the southeast corner of Lexington Blvd and Marias, the arboretum spans 4.25 acres in the City of Royal Oak. It contains walking trails, a butterfly garden, a rain garden, a native tree collection, a mushroom garden, playgrounds, and grassy areas. It is maintained by the City of Royal Oak and the Royal Oak Nature Society.