Just like every other media at this time of the year, we thought it would be a nice opportunity to do an accounting of what the Swanton Tree Commission has accomplished over the last year.
Winter for us is a quiet time. It’s when we examine our Tree Ordinance, formulate any changes, and plan for the warmer season. We decided that we needed a little tweak to the existing ordinance to allow us some freedom to grow or contract as needed. Recently approved by Council, we are now allowed to have as many as 9 voting members, recruit task-related volunteers to help us perform specific tasks, and we requested that a member of Council be present at our monthly meetings so that Council knows what we are about.
As part of our continuing effort to transfer tree specific knowledge to the general public we were able to create and publish four “Twisted Twig” articles both in The Enterprise and posted to the Village’s Facebook page. This year we’re working on a FAQ page to record and answer any questions that homeowners might have regarding their personal trees. There also were several articles written about the Gypsy Moth situation in the Village’s northeast quadrant.
Speaking about our not-so-friendly insect invaders, they’re about to take the next bus to the promised land. After contacting the State of Ohio, Department of Agriculture we are on the list to start a biological aerial spraying program this spring. There is a homeowners’ informational session scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 between 6-8 p.m. at the Swanton Community Center on Chestnut Street. Mark your calendars and plan on attending. The State will share all the details of this extremely benign (except for the moth larva) operation. This operation is paid for in its entirety by the Village.
As of Jan. 25 we will have another commissioner graduating from the Ohio DNR, Division of Forestry Tree Commission Academy. Many of us will head over to Sylvania to witness Joyce Miller’s graduation presentation. Plus, in January Rickye Heffner will begin her TCA studies. Our overall goal is to have all of our members be graduates of this illustrious course of study.
The STC’s education is never ending as we attend Department of Forestry conclave events, the last being held at Bluffton College in November. We have also been instrumental in presenting training opportunities to Village Public Works employees who are learning and relearning the skills necessary to maintain our urban forest specimens. Continuous training is never wasted.
Our booth at the 2017 Corn Fest was expanded to two spaces. We were able to answer a lot of questions and provide information to both the Village residents and those in the townships, plus we passed out over 200 tree cookies with our Tree City logo stamped on them.
On a more tangible note, the Village has removed 35 diseased, damaged and dying hazard trees including their stumps. We have planted about 30 new lindens, oaks and thornless hawthorns this year in the Willow Run subdivision and in Pilliod Park. These new plantings, along with the 60 others from previous years, at maturity will net an annual saving to the Village and property owners of approximately $60,000 in storm water retention, and cooling and heating loads.
We are on track to be designated a Tree City for the third year, one of the approximately 250 Tree Cities in the State of Ohio, the most of any state.
So you can see that we had a good year and are off to a fine start to 2018. Please avail yourself of all the printed information in the brochure bank in the lobby of Village offices, visit the Village Facebook page, or visit the DNR Division of Forestry (forestry.ohiodnr.gov).