Ridgewood Shade Tree Comission Meeting Minutes 12122018

Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission
Meeting Minutes
December 12, 2018

The regular meeting of the Ridgewood Shade Tree Commission was called to order at 7:30PM on December 12, 2018 by Andrew Lowry.
Andrew Lowry, Dan Cramblitt,  Melody Corcoran, Ian Keller, Carolyn Jacoby, Declan Madden, Susan Nashel, George Wolfson, Nancy Bigos
Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes for November 13, 2018 was made by Carolyn Jacoby, seconded by Dan Cramblitt, and approved by all present.

Review of Objectives for Parks and Shade Tree Dept. and Shade Tree Commission
Parks and Shade Tree Department manages, maintains and plants village owned trees. The STC assists the Parks Dept. (e.g. with gator bags), advocates for trees, advocates for funding for trees and grants, and educates residents.
Together the Parks Dept. and STC work on Adopt-a-Tree, the tree ordinance, the tree nursery and increased budget support for the Parks Dept. Projects for 2019 include the CFMP update, Arbor Day, Adopt-a-Tree, village tree inventory, and CBD trees and tree wells.

Adopt-a-Tree Fee
The new AaT fee of $450 has been sent to the village council for approval. The current fee for a celebration or commemorative tree, which includes a plaque, is $650.  Because the village is currently planting over 130 trees a year, AaT is not strictly necessary. However, AaT will be kept in place in case there is a significant decrease in trees planted in future years.
Nancy Bigos, Director of Parks and Recreation, spoke to the STC. She stressed that the most important objective for the STC is education and communication. The STC must make their needs known to the village council. The STC must also educate the village council and residents about our objectives and advocacy for trees.
The STC volunteers can participate with residents in Earth Day activities by handing out free tree whips and informational brochures on AaT, the importance of trees, etc. A suggestion was made to look into the possibility of the STC and trees being the focus of the 2020 village calendar, perhaps having residents and their children identify heritage trees located in the village. These trees would be highlighted in the calendar. Social media is another way to disseminate information.
Outreach, education, programs and materials for these objectives need to be set up. Our goals and objectives need to be prioritized, then an ad hoc committee needs to be formed. The committee’s findings will then be brought back to the STC for discussion and future implementation.

CBD Tree Wells
A suggestion was made that a sign should be added to the specifications for the improved test CBD tree wells. The sign would be informational and might include the question “Do you like this permeable surface?” with a phone number or email for response. Obtaining the business owners and residents responses would give them a way to participate in the process and aid in the decisions to be made about the tree wells.

Declan Madden will look into tree inventory grants available from NJ Urban and Community Forestry program (NJUCF). He will forward the information to Nancy Bigos who will then forward that information to the village manager and Mike Sedon. A tree inventory is invaluable to the Parks and Shade Tree Dept. tree crew.

The Bellair Road site for the nursery was approved by the village council. The site measures 80’ by 80’. REAC is giving $500 towards the nursery. The nursery will be an incremental supply source for street trees.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:15PM by: Andrew Lowry.
Minutes submitted by: Melody Corcoran

Volunteers Hours: 10.5