Granville Tree and Landscape Commission
Meeting of December 13, 2011
Members present: Regis Birckbichler, Don Hostetter, Lynne Kishler, Don Pheneger
Guests: Michelle Lerner, Jim Siegel, John Smith, Darren Willey
Minutes of the November meeting were approved.
Fall planting – Commission members placed stakes for the new trees on Friday, Dec. 2nd. Utilities had been flagged at the sites. Many trees were delivered to those sites by Albyn’s on Monday, Dec. 12th.
Tree City USA Application – Don Hostetter worked with Mollie Prasher at the village office to finish the online application process to meet the Dec. 9th deadline of sending them to Lisa Bowers for initial approval. This year we showed a significant increase in volunteer hours (largely due to hosting the Tree City USA ceremony in April and the planning for renovation in Opera House Park). In 2010, there were 300 volunteer hours to 2011’s 888 hours. Don H. wrote the narratives for the Growth Award application. New for Granville in 2011 was the formation of the Tree Trimming Commission and the grant money acquired in Jan. 2011 from the Robinson Estate for Opera House Park.
2012 Budget – The commission’s budgeted amount will remain the same as in 2011, $10,000 for parks and $15,000 for trees. As to our request for additional funding from the village for OHP, Michelle Lerner reported there has been no final discussion in council.
Tree Trimming Commission – Don H. reported that Jurgen Pape, chairperson for the group, will be updating the village council soon. Don H. feels they are consulting with valuable resources, such as electrical engineers, and have good contacts, from which has come productive discussion and cooperation. They now have seven active members and have held five meetings since June. They are planning advance education for the community, and to be proactive, rather than reactive. The next big scheduled trimming is set for 2014, after which the commission will be disbanded.
Denison Tree and Landscaping Advisory Board – Jeremy King has arranged for a student, who is already familiar with the tree survey computer program, to help enter data into the village GIS. Denison is planning a formal promotional opening event for their arboretum on Arbor Day, April 27th. They have re-applied for Tree Campus USA status.
Ohio State University and Dawes Arboretum have both endorsed the selection of “Rudy Haag,” a non-invasive variety of burning bush we are planning to use on the east side of Opera House Park. Dawes is removing all but one specimen of their other burning bushes due to their invasive nature.
Old Colony Burying Ground -Terry Hopkins called Don H. to advise him of trimming being done by McCullough Tree Service in the Old Colony Burying Ground. In particular, much concern is over trimming done to the specimen pin oak we have slated for nomination to Ohio Big Trees in 2012. This led to discussion over the cemetery, which lies within village limits but is maintained by the Union Cemetery Board of Trustees which oversees a handful of cemeteries in Granville Township. Michelle was able to ascertain the three current members of the board are Paul Jenks, Connie Barsky, and Rob Drake. There is an immediate need to clarify roles concerning the trees in the Old Colony. Don H. will contact them to initiate communication.
Darren reported that there will be one final leaf pick-up, then Christmas tree pick-up after the holidays.
Michelle asked us to state the advantages to the community of being designated a Tree City USA, so if asked by a resident, she could respond with the commission’s answers. In summary, the requirements of becoming a Tree City set a standard to live up to; it is a mark of achievement. There are educational opportunities and conferences that put us in touch with other communities who share common goals, problems, and solutions. Renewing the designation yearly makes towns accountable, and the Growth Award challenges them to enhance existing programs and initiate new ones. Relationships between individuals, groups, and departments are fostered to achieve the goals.
Regis Birckbichler’s appointment to the Tree and Landscape Commission is up in January, and he has decided not to serve another term, so the opening on the commission will be posted. Regis has served faithfully for nine years, and he has offered to continue working to get the Memorial Tree Program running.
The next meeting will be January 10th at 7:00 pm.