Fair Haven Shade Tree Commission Discusses Tree Inventory, Management, and Canopy Equity

The recent Fair Haven Shade Tree Commission meeting was a thorough exploration of numerous issues. The meeting also saw the resignation of long-serving member Bill Brooks, and looked into the future with plans for the 2024 Christmas tree, among other events.

Beginning with the tree inventory project, the commission expressed disappointment over changes in pricing and the need to pay for the software. They are considering potential vendors such as Davey Tree Service and Planet Geo, while also exploring the idea of creating an outward-facing product for residents to access information about trees in the town. The commission is also considering splitting the inventory into two parts, in order to make the process more manageable. The completion of the inventory, one member suggested, could also make them eligible for more grants.

The commission also discussed the CFMP, expressing concerns about the lack of guidelines for updating the plan, which is set to expire in 2024. Members hoped for more clarity on the guidelines in order to proceed with the plan.

Tree canopy equity was a significant topic of the meeting. The commission evaluated the town’s tree canopy using online tools like the Tree Equity Score site, which indicated a 42% canopy coverage for the town. There were debates about the usefulness of this data and the challenges of comparing Fair Haven to other municipalities. The commission showed interest in using this data to evaluate the tree inventory and emphasized the importance of advocating for tree planting as part of tree removal efforts.

The resignation of Bill Brooks, a member who had served for 15 years, marked a poignant moment in the meeting. Brooks assured the commission he would ensure no outstanding work was left behind and offered his continued assistance.

Looking ahead, the commission planned for future projects in 2024, such as the Christmas tree and other events. Discussion about the location of the Christmas tree revealed the need to stress test the current location and consider alternative spots. The meeting also addressed the council and tree preservation ordinance update, with a member expressing concern about the process and suggesting the need for additional language related to storm water control in the ordinance.

The meeting also saw the discussion of the Shade Tree Commission’s annual report, with debates about the budget request, including the costs of tree removal, planting, and consulting fees. The commission acknowledged the potential challenges of meeting the budget cap and the need to effectively manage resources.

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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