o The Editor,
Congratulations to the City Council and the City Administrator on the quick removal of trees and the swift progress toward the building of our new Community Center. Although completely legal, your methods seem devious and smack of elitism and did nothing to unite our community.
I share the grief of The Save the Tree Committee. There is nothing more beautiful than golfing down a tree lined fairway or sitting in the shade of a tree by the lake. A tree lined street like McGreger in Algona or 4th Street in Spencer make a city a beautiful and welcoming place. It is a shame we have only a few blocks with that kind of street trees in the parking in Emmetsburg. Could The Save the Tree Committee become the Save the Forest Committee? Look around and be aware of the coming of the Emerald Ash Borer. What percentage of our City forest is Ash? Could the committee raise and organize a group of volunteers to make an inventory of our city's trees and their condition? Could you get help and support from the County Conservation Board?
Congratulations are in order for some of the organizations in our community which have done a beautiful job landscaping. Farm Credit, the Catholic Church and the Casino come to mind. The CDBG Faade Project and trees in the parking downtown demonstrate the chamber and business owners consider beauty important. These organizations know that natural beauty is important part of welcoming people. Shouldn't the residential portion of our town be as important?
Tree committee, it is time for action not grief. Petition the city council to have a town meeting where the city administrator and director of public properties can explain the city policies on trees and the beautification of our city. Do they have a plan beyond mow, chop and cut? What is their plan for the golf course, city parks and street trees in the parking? What has been done for these city properties in the past five years? Is it time for the city to hire some expertise on city forestry? Professional help could provide information on tree selection placement, pruning and care. Hopefully, city employees and property owners would welcome that knowledge. Could there be grant money to help home owners plant street trees in the parking?
Come on Tree Committee, there are city officials to educate, trees to inventory, trees to plant and a city to beautify. And remember the Emerald Ash Borer is on its way. It is time to move from grief and resentment to action.
(signed) Cal Christensen