Fair Haven Plans for New Spruce in Memorial Park

The Fair Haven Shade Tree Commission recently convened to deliberate on a range of environmental initiatives and community engagement strategies. Among the most noteworthy agenda items was the discussion surrounding the replacement of the Christmas tree in Memorial Park, with the commission considering quotes for a new Norway spruce.

In the meeting, the commission evaluated two options for the new Christmas tree: a 10 to 12-foot Norway spruce for $2,200 or an 8 to 10-foot tree for $1,700, both inclusive of installation costs. The debate centered on choosing the appropriate size of the tree, with considerations about the tree’s survival chances and the potential impact on the surrounding area, including snow removal on adjacent sidewalks. The members sought further information about the root ball’s inclusion in the height measurement and the condition of the soil where the tree was to be planted. It was determined that the cost of the tree replacement would come from the town budget, so the Shade Tree Commission may not incur the expense.

The commission also discussed the need to address overgrown ivy on private properties, considering a plan to distribute door hangers and potentially form a volunteer task force to assist with ivy removal. This plan aims to engage the community in preserving the health of the town’s trees while being sensitive to the concerns of residents, including offering help to those who might be unable to manage the ivy themselves.

Another topic of community interest was the resident tree buying program, which had not attracted participants since its launch. The commission decided to step up promotional efforts, considering the use of digital signage at the Borough Hall and sharing information through personal networks and community groups.

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In preparation for Arbor Day, the commission outlined plans for activities including events at the library, a poster contest, and tree planting initiatives for residents. The Shade Tree Commission also reviewed the 2024 shade tree planting plan, which involved discussions about tree donations and identifying suitable locations for tree planting throughout the town. Furthermore, a calendar of key events for the year was presented, which included important deadlines and scheduled activities related to the commission’s work.

The meeting continued with a debate over the tree removal ordinance, a topic that has been under revision since fall 2020. Members discussed the possibility of forming a committee to further address the ivy removal issue, and there was some surprise expressed at the idea of revisiting the tree ordinance, as some believed it was nearing finalization.

In the public participation segment, a suggestion was made to hold quarterly meetings between neighboring shade tree commissions to share updates and collaborate on common challenges. Compliance with the Tier 4 MS4 ordinance by May 1, 2024, was also mentioned as a necessary step to ensure proper tree removal and replacement practices in line with environmental regulations.

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The commission examined the expiration of their current plan in December and the potential to apply for Green Acres Green Communities grants. Upcoming dates for plant inventory and the tree ordinance were noted, with intentions to attend the council meeting when scheduled. Additionally, members discussed the requirement for continuing education credits and shared information on recent credit-earning activities.

Updates were also provided regarding various town matters such as budget meetings, hiring processes, and the need for a new garbage recycling contract. The conversation also touched upon the tree preservation ordinance update, with a focus on protecting heritage trees and closing potential loopholes in the ordinance.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

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