Environmental Commission Gives Tree Initiative Update

Environmental Commission Gives Tree Initiative Update

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - Last night, the Meridian Township Environmental Commission provided an update on the Tree Initiative.

During their last meeting, Michelle Beloskur created a proposal to assist with a large tree distribution at the market and a school project. The Commission discussed the schools and neighborhoods they would potentially work with. They also discussed what kind of trees they would be interested in using. They did not, however, discuss what trees would be available from the nurseries for the project.

Beloskur has found since then, that there are plenty of bareroot, evergreen trees available from the nurseries. She also made a case against deciduous trees due to having to wait until October or November in order to plant them. She also mentioned that the conservation district orders conifer trees every fall, so that would be a good time to plat them.

The trees they discussed distributing are around one to one and a half feet. This way they will be easy to distribute and manage.

Commissioner Jim Kielbaso voiced his concerns about how many of the trees handed out might fail to flourish. He also spoke about a monitoring system he wished to have in order to make sure the trees are growing.

“I’ve had someone who listened to one of our previous sessions suggest that if we give away trees, we’re giving away things that are never going to grow,” he said. “I would like us, if we could, to have people who take trees let us know where they are and find some way that we can get a report for a couple of years.”

Beloskur brought up the idea of charging a small amount in order for someone to obtain a tree. This way, the trees will be more likely to be planted because they were taken by someone who put in a small investment.

“The other thing that I know other groups have done is they charge just a little bit. 50 cents or a dollar for a tree,” she said. “They were giving them to everybody and not everybody was into planting a tree or had a place to plant a tree. So, if they just put in a little something, a little skin in the game, they figured they were more likely to actually get in the ground.”

Commissioner Bill McConnel also suggested that if they had the emails of those who took a tree, they could simply email the recipient asking for an update.

Another issue they ran into was with the schools. It was uncertain of who would water and maintain the trees with classes going virtual. The idea was mentioned about recruiting students to help. However, a final plan to maintain the trees is still up in the air.

Members of the Tree Team, which includes members of the Commission, will meet in the near future to further discuss the plans for this project.

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