We continue to make strides — and investments — in South Milwaukee’s urban forestry program. We have to, now and in the future.
Here is what’s happening this spring …
- Adopt a Tree: We are bringing this Beautification Committee program back for a second year, planting 50 more trees in areas where trees were recently removed due to disease, age or road projects. We are sending letters to 239 impacted residents who had trees removed and stumps ground in 2017, asking if they would like a new tree — and asking them to pledge to care for it. The fee is $100 for each participant, with the city paying the remaining cost. We sold out of trees last year, and I expect we will do the same in 2018.
Arbor Day celebrations: Our Street Department will continue to partner with our local elementary schools in 2018, holding Arbor Day events at each school in the next couple of months. Trees are planted at each school, and kids learn about the value of a strong urban forest, and tree planting, from our Street superintendent. They also go home with free saplings.
- Tree removals: The city continues to fund removal of dead, dying, or diseased trees in the public right of way, especially those impacted by emerald ash borer. Between 2014 and November of 2017, the city has removed approximately 675 trees from the right of way, including 480 ash trees, with more to do.
We are also moving forestry supervision to the Street Department, bringing it closer to the people tasked with caring for our urban forest every day. This is transition is ongoing.
Of course, this is just the start.
We have to continue to invest in this work, and will, moving closer to creating an urban forestry infrastructure sustainable for the long term … one tree at a time.