‘Be a part of the Grove’
Greenspace Commission has special plans for Bicentennial Arbor Day celebration
By Whitney Skeeters
The Greenspace Commission held their monthly meeting Thursday, January 22, and there was much to discuss with Arbor Day only a month away. In the bicentennial year, citizens are finding ways to appreciate all of the little things that make Madison great, and proponents of green space think trees should not be left out of the equation. Members of the commission have been busy planning a fun way for the community to recognize the importance and beauty of their local trees on February 20, Madison's Arbor Day.
"Arbor Day is a good way to ensure that Madison's tree canopy continues to serve future generations, for shelter, for cleaning the air and for the natural beauty they add to our lives," said Planning Director Monica Callahan.
Those who attend the Arbor Day festivities can be a part of the planting of a James Madison Red Maple tree grove, in honor of Madison's historic birthday, which will be planted all over the city. Citizens can pre-order the $10, one-foot high saplings or purchase them the day of. The ceremonies, which will begin at 11 a.m., will also include the planting of a 12-foot Red Maple in Round Bowl Spring Park.
Participants can also take part in a guided tour of the native plant species in the park led by one of the Greenspace commissioners. A representative from the commission will also deliver the Arbor Day Proclamation and award the winner of the poster contest, Trees Are Terrific In Cities and Towns, held among students at the elementary school. Those who plant one of the maple trees will receive their own copy of the winning poster.
"Be a part of the grove," Callahan said. "Get in the grove!"
Also on the agenda for the meeting was the discussion of the final list of trees they will be planting in 2009, all of which are trees native to Madison in a commitment to honor the bicentennial. The commission matched planting sites with lists of Madison-native trees and cross-referenced the data with pricing information from local tree vendors. These native trees include Winter King Hawthorns, Black Gums, Urbanite Ash, and October Glory maples. The commission is extending this commitment even into its Ricketts Environmental Excellence Program, which fosters the replenishment of trees by paying for half of the cost of planting a tree.
Those who are planning on participating in the program in 2009 must agree to plant native trees.
The Greenprints plan, a result of the various public meetings the commission sponsored, was finalized and was presented to the mayor and city council Friday. According to Callahan, the plan will determine what the Greenspace Commission will focus on over the next 20 years.
Published in the January 29, 2009 edition.