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Town Council to Consider Tree Giveaway Program

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§ Town Council to Consider Tree Giveaway Program

By Michael Herman

On Wednesday, January 31, the Town Council of Riverdale Park will hold a joint hearing of the Legislative, Public Works and Finance Committees to discuss the feasibility of creating a new program to help get more trees planted in our community. A presentation will be made by town residents Rebecca Feldberg and Alice Ewen-Walker, both of whom have extensive professional experience in urban and suburban reforestation plans. The public is invited to attend. The meeting will be held at the Town Hall at 7:00 p.m.

While no formal proposal has been advanced to date, the purpose behind the program would be to provide residents with strong, young trees of their choice that could be planted on private property. This will assist residents in creating shade for their property, thus reducing ground level ozone and pollution, minimizing air conditioning costs, and beautifying their homes and the entire community. Such trees also increase property values. Various types of comparable programs have been established in communities from Massachusetts to California and everywhere in between. The goal is to provide residents with free or low cost trees with technical and financial assistance from the town.

The proposed public-private partnership will require citizen input as we evaluate the merits and costs of such a program. It is my sincere hope that the details of this program can be completed quickly so that we may take advantage of the Spring 2001 planting season to initiate a pilot project. Those interested in voicing their opinions or learning more about the various programs that have been already established should attend this worthwhile and informative session.

Michael Herman is Councilmember for Ward 1.

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