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Some of the 18 holes at Meadowbrook Golf Course may be just a bit easier to play this spring. 

Rapid City and golf course workers have removed about 40 dead, dying and hazardous elm, cottonwood, pine and other trees in the past few weeks as part of the golf course's 10-year master plan, Doug Lowe of the Parks and Recreation department said Wednesday. The plan also calls for replanting trees in late spring or early fall. 

City officials also plan to remove some trees from the Executive Golf Course later this year. 

"The biggest thing is safety for the citizens," said Lowe, adding that some of the trees are rotting from the inside and could "fall over any time."

Lowe said cities typically inspect and manage dangerous trees, and Rapid City is especially prepared to do this since it has a city arborist in addition to four or five other staffers who are certified as arborists. 

The cost to replant the trees will be covered by a $10,000 grant from the Gwendolyn L. Stearns Foundation, Lowe said. 

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