2006-10-05 / News

Tree committee approves town forest signage, discusses tree plantings

By Michaela Kennedy

The town Tree Preservation and Protection Committee opened its September meeting by approving for a signage design for the town forest located at the schoolyard .The committee also discussed the free tree planting program for residents.

The committee unanimously voted to approve the final design of the signs that Boy Scout Brian Volpe plans to build at the town forest as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Committee Chairman Emmet Turley asked Volpe how many hours he had left to work on the project. Volpe said he had about 30 more volunteer hours to complete.

Tree Warden David Nickerson advised that Volpe call Wickford Lumber to order the needed materials, because the town has an account there. Nickerson stressed that the money the town has dedicated to the project was only available until the end of this month, and he urged the Scout to put in the order quickly.

Committee member Judith DiBello noted that she confirmed with Town Finance Director Tina Collins that "all the money is there" to provide for the materials for the project.

Committee member Matthew Largess volunteered to review the sign installation when completed in order to give it the committee's stamp of approval.

Volpe explained to the committee that in the first phase of the project was the construction of the signs. In the second phase, he will research the trees and how Native Americans used them.

Nickerson later asked the committee to clarify in the minutes of the Aug. meeting that the $2,000 to be used for the project was set aside by the School Committee.

In a discussion of tree plantings, DiBello said that 16 names of residents who requested free plantings were collected at Heyday.

Nickerson said that the work the committee did in finding sites for new plantings would supply him with enough sites to apply for a grant for a spring planting.

The tree warden asked the committee to consider prioritizing the sites and give preference to those areas that have fewer trees than others. "Places that are barren should have the plantings first," he said. Largess supported the tree warden's

point of view, praising his work of planting trees around the island.

DiBello gave Nickerson a copy of the list of people requesting tree plantings so he could review the sites and decide where the plantings should start.

Nickerson also said that the two trees planned for the corner of Walcott and High streets would be planted next week, the last week in September.

In his report, the tree warden said he is writing a list of frequently asked questions about the permitting process for planting or removing a tree. The process will be made available electronically, according to Nickerson.

In other business, Nickerson said he worked on the tree care policy. He noted that assigning stewards to watch over trees was important for their health and survival. He mentioned a tree in the Shores that lost all its leaves from anthracnose. "If we had a steward in that area, I could have treated it," Nickerson said. Turley suggested assigning sections

of the tree care policy to each committee member in order to complete the draft. The committee agreed to discuss the policy at the next meeting.

In a discussion about Ft. Getty development plan, Nickerson said he found a Press article dating back to1995 that said money would be put aside for future development of the park. White said he would check with the Planning Commission concerning how much money was in the Ft. Getty development fund and what percentage would be used for tree plantings.

The committee agreed that Heyday was fantastic. Turley noted that many people came by the committee's table, and a tree was given away as a prize.

In new business, the committee welcomed newly appointed Walter Boll to the board.

In correspondence, Bob Dolan sent a letter of resignation to the committee. Effective immediately, it creates one vacancy on the board.

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