Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
October 11, 2022
The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:35PM. The meeting was held in the Village Hall Garden room.
Andrew Lowry, Adam Brown, Matt Andreula, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Nancy Brennan-Hill, Mahmoud Hamza, Victoria Van Dyke, Pam Perron
The minutes for the September meeting were approved with the note that Maria Damasco had not attended the September meeting of the STC but may have attended a Green Team meeting.
Membership & Terms of Service
Pam Perron is working on the membership and terms issues
Planting for 2022
The plan is to plant 88 trees starting in about 2 weeks with removals and soil assessment. It was stressed that it is important for there to be supervision/observation of the work as the contractor is new to the Village and there are a lot of variables to consider. There was a discussion as to whether STC members could help in the process as Village staff has limited time and Declan will be out for a week in mid-November. Declan has been told he will not be working on leaves this year so he should have more time. It was agreed that Matt or Declan would communicate with the STC if there was a way for members to help. It was agreed that members would follow the chain of command when communicating ideas or concerns with the work. Matt was concerned about STC members being close to the work area posed potential issues. It was pointed out that because the STC is up to date on all requirements members and the Village are indemnified from liability concerns. The simplest approach is for STC members who have time to 1) respond to any request for help from Matt/Declan or 2) observe and take pictures of the work from a distance that does not interfere with the work being done.
The plan for traffic control will be to shut down one side of Ridgewood Ave. while diverting traffic to Franklin. Adjustments may be needed
Carolyn is developing a banner to be place next to the Van Neste Park announcing the coming tree planting. Andrew asked if laminated page size copies could be developed and posted around the CBD. There was a concern that they could not be attached to trees because of a Village ordinance. However, if the Village manager agrees other locations such as stumps or sides of private building might be used. After the meeting, Carolyn suggested she try to get the notices posted in store windows, which might be a good solution.
The bid requires that trees will be watered when planted and then watered 2 times a week for 6 weeks.
· Street Shade Tree Planting
Declan was able to get the number of trees to be planted increased from 160 to 192. These will all be trees requested by residents. A schedule for planting has not been determined but could extend into mid-December, similar to 2021. The bid calls for trees to be;
o Fertilized, staked, mulched, supplied with Gator bags and deer protection, and watered in at planting. In addition, each tree will have a “sidewalk root shield” (Deep Root) to discourage sidewalk root lifting in the future. This is the first time the Village has done this and we should note that in the tree inventory.
o Planting will be done according to A.N.S.I A300 standards which are quite rigorous. A copy of the standard will be available in the Parks and Shade Tree Dept. office.
o STC volunteers will respond to request from Matt/Delan for any support they may request.
· Capital budget 2022
o Due to limited staff, we are not able to spend all the funds the Village allocated for Shade Tree planting. Pam will request an update from the CFO as to what remains to be spent. Andrew estimates that it is approximately $75,000 at this point. It was agreed that a good use of some of this money would be to complete the Tree Inventory which is about 85% finished. This can be done this year or early next as it does not require significant Village employee supervision time. The money will have to be re-purposed by the Council. The last estimate we had was that completion would cost about $20,000. The remaining funds will be carried over and repurposed for other projects or added to the 2023 fall planting budget.
· Tree Inventory Dashboard – Key points of the current tree inventory indicate that there are 4184 planting locations available although Declan said that the viable number is significantly less. We need to clear up the time frame, which is reflected on the dashboard, is it 2022 YTD?
· There was a discussion about how to build back the tree canopy. It seemed that a 10 year plan during which 600 trees (200 trees taken down normally, so 400 additional trees) planted yearly was a reasonable objective to present to the Council as part of the “Tree Plan.”
· 2023-2024 Capital and operating Budgets. It is our understanding that the Parks and Shade Tree Dept. requests are for Capital Budget of $581,000 and for 1.5 additional staffing which would make Declan full time on trees (.5) and an additional crew member to assist him full time.
· Grants – It was emphasized that there is grant money available now and next year. We need to have a defined plan for getting applications written, which will require identifying a grant writer. Cynthia Gorey was mentioned as a possible writer or source for other writers.
· It was agreed that that STC/Parks need to develop a “Tree Plan” for the Village as well as updating the CFMP. We need to identify who has the time and willingness to do these important projects. Nancy and Adam had previously volunteered.
· Carolyn stressed the need for members to plan on attending the Earth Day fair next April 23, 2023. Put it on the calendar.
Please let me know if I missed anything important
- Hits: 73