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Tree board still important in the Adirondacks

May 7, 2015
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

Why would a small village in the middle of a 6-million-acre forested park want to plant trees in the community? Well, that very question was addressed by citizens developing the Joint Village and Town Comprehensive Plan in 1997. At first, the goal was to make the village entry roads more attractive by planting trees. There were also concerns about the loss of trees because of development as well as tree vandalism in the parks. To address these matters, the Lake Placid/North Elba Tree Board was established in 2000.

In 14 years, over 150 trees have been planted along village entrance roads, on Main Street, at the Town Hall, the Elementary School, in village parks and as a screen at the Highway Garage. Over 1500 seedlings have been given away for home planting. The trees were supplied by the Lake Placid Electric Dept. and planted by the village highway crew. Tree Board members watered and maintained the trees after planting. Along with beautifying the community, the trees provide shade, which reduces energy usage, helps clean the air and reduces water run-off.

Education is another important activity of the Tree Board. A special Arbor Day program is held at the elementary school for third graders each spring which includes instruction, a poster contest and tree seedling planting in the school nursery.

A communitywide Arbor Day program is held each May at various parks to celebrate the benefits of trees to the environment and for citizen health and well being. It's a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to learn about how to care for the environment where they live. The program is carried out with the cooperation of the Girl Scouts, Lake Placid Garden Club, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and local service clubs.

The Tree Board works with other community groups and leaders to promote tree protection and planting on development projects. Advice on tree health and maintenance is also provided to community agencies.

In June, 2008 the North Elba Town Council passed a resolution giving the Tree Board official status. That allowed the Tree Board to apply for recognition as a Tree City USA which is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation. North Elba is the only Tree City in northeastern New York and joins with 135 other New York towns and cities and 3,300 communities nationwide confirming a commitment to the environment and quality of life.

The continuing care of community trees takes dedication and effort from Tree Board members. Residents who would like to join these efforts as a member or financial donor are encouraged to contact Co-chairs Bob Hanna at 518-523-4332 or Tim Chick at 518-523-9235.

Tim Chick

Lake Placid



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