Here a tree, there a tree

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The trees whose branches reach for the sky,

Make the ground pleasant for you and I.

Creating green beauty for all to see,

Comes from the group known as Carmel Urban Forestry.

Yes, they exist this band of volunteers,

Quietly planting for so many years.

It’s time to say thanks and give them applause

And get you to think about joining its cause!

Just look around our great City and you can see the result of 18 years of work from a committee tasked with the mission of creating an urban forest.  Unless good planning and acute foresight are implemented, urban sprawl can eliminate the opportunity for urban forestation and is a blemish on many communities across America.

The committee consists of people who tend to roll up their sleeves and do.  People like Committee President Kevin Daugherty along with Dan Franzman and Cheryl Gettelfinger.  Gettelfingerl has served on the committee since its beginning and Franzman has put in 14 years.  Jerry Williams, Gary Doxtater, Robert Hosler and Rod Rhoades are also racking up years of service.  These Carmel citizens are appointed by the mayor to assist and guide the Urban Forestry Program for Carmel and details about their mission can be found at www.carmelurbanforestry.com.

Each year the group chooses a neighborhood or public location to plant trees as part of its Fall Neighborhood Planting Program.  The infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer has caused the destruction of many Ash trees in our City.  So, earlier this month, the committee focused their effort on a section of roadway hard hit by the borer near the Carmel Police and Fire stations to replace trees lost.  They planted a mixture of Green Vase Zelkova and Accolade Elm trees.  Their work is truly noticeable even though it is usually accomplished without fanfare or hoopla.

Over 1,000 new trees in Carmel can be attributed to the Carmel Urban Forestry Committee.  They strive for at least a 50 percent tree canopy on every Carmel street.  They manage the mix of species in order to guard against species-specific losses due to infestation.  And, they promise to see to it that every tree removed from a street will be replaced by a new one.  For these reasons and so many other important strategies they implement, Carmel receives the Tree City USA award annually.

The Carmel Urban Forestry Committee is always looking for interested citizens who have an interest in protecting and growing our urban forest.  If you want to share your “green” and meet some really great people, start with Dan Franzman at 574-0885 or danca4pu@aol.com.

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