In recent years, the City of Middletown has lost trees at a much faster rate than the city has planted new trees. To address this issue, the Jonah Center for Earth and Art and the City of Middletown’s Urban Forestry Commission invite the public to a special meeting on Tuesday, October 15, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Middletown’s Council Chambers, 245 deKoven Drive. (See information on the petition below.)
The Jonah Center is also gathering signatures on a petition in preparation for the city’s budget hearings in the spring. We plan to ask for at least $50,000 in additional funds to support an increase in tree-planting from 20-30 trees per year to at least 100 trees per year. Read more and sign the petition here.
In recent years, the City of Middletown has removed dead and dying trees at a much faster rate than the city has planted new trees. Due to the Emerald Ash Borer, about 300 dead ash trees currently need to be removed, according to the Urban Forestry Commission. A line of dead ash trees along Church Street between Broad and High (shown here) is one striking and sad example. Only 20-30 trees will likely be planted city-wide in the current year, given the available budget. Removing a large tree is far more expensive than planting a younger, smaller tree. For this reason, the urban forestry budget is being exhausted by the need for tree removals.
Climate change is playing a role in this process, just when trees are more urgently needed to mitigate climate change. Invasive plants, changing insect populations, and damage by vehicles are additional negative factors. Continue reading