Workers deserve more credit
I realize the difficulty reporters face when covering the various town meetings. They must assimilate a great deal of detailed information, separate the important from the unimportant, and try and report this accurately. Mistakes are made, and I normally would overlook this.
However, the report on the June 19th Tree Preservation and Protection Committee meeting was unfair to Jamestown's Department of Public Works employees and, I feel, must be corrected.
Among their many duties, these town employees plant and maintain trees on the rights-of-ways and public lands in Jamestown. They do this in a highly professional manner. In fact, one employee is a licensed arborist.
This past spring they planted a total of 20 trees, purchased with Federal funds through a state "America the Beautiful" grant. They have diligently maintained these trees and recently replanted a number that were received in poor condition from the nursery and were replaced at no cost to the town.
To survive trees need moisture. You can easily spot new trees on rights-of-way since each has a green water bag, known as a gator bag, these were attached by DPW employees and are designed to precisely water trees when there is no rain.
During the meeting a member raised a proper question: are the bags regularly being refilled. It is impossible to tell simply by looking since the bags deliver water directly to the tree roots in just a few hours. The member asking the question was asked to check with the DPW. He checked and as will be reported at the next meeting, has been assured that every tree in town is being watered on a regular schedule.
This is not "news." The DPW has been planting and maintaining tress in town for years. Their efforts are a principal reason why the town has been designated a "Tree City" every year for the past five years. That is news, but was largely overlooked. The article instead emphasized the fact that a "packet" of material about the award went to the town Council and not the Committee. That is a trivial matter. The packet consists mainly of stickers to update the Tree City road signs and literature for the public about the program.
What you should have reported was that only eleven towns and cities in Rhode Island achieved "Tree City" status this year and Jamestown is the smallest Tree City town in the state, thanks to the efforts of the Jamestown DPW employees.
James Rugh, Chairman
Tree Preservation and Protection Committee