Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 29, 2014

Public invited to discuss local tree inventory and EAB preparedness

Jan 10, 2014

Brighton residents are invited to participate in a second town meeting to discuss the looming Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) threat, its potential impact, and plans to deal with this tree pest invasion locally.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 1 to 2 p.m, at City Hall/Community Room at 100 East Washington Street in Brighton. It will be hosted by the City of Brighton, Trees Forever, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Trees Forever field coordinator Patty Petersen will be joined by DNR district forester Ray Lehn, who will share the results of a recent street tree inventory that the DNR conducted in Brighton. A management plan for the town’s current tree population, as well as suggested approaches for addressing the potential loss and replacement of all the town’s ash trees, will also be discussed.

At a previous town meeting, Petersen provided an overview of the Emerald Ash Borer threat and the impact that the insect pest will have on homeowners and the community at large. The many benefits that healthy trees provide — such as energy savings, stormwater reduction, and increased property values — were also discussed. Since that meeting, an additional EAB infestation was announced in Mechanicsville in Cedar County, bringing the total to four counties (Cedar, Allamakee, Jefferson, and Des Moines) where EAB has been documented.

“Trees provide so many benefits to our communities and residents, and the arrival of EAB will have a significant impact on all of us,” states Meredith Borchardt, EAB planning program manager with Trees Forever. “Planning ahead on this issue is key to the long-term success and health of the local tree population.

Funding for these education meetings, the local street tree inventory, and for developing Brighton’s street tree management plan, comes from a U.S. Forest Service grant for EAB Monitoring, Outreach, and Community Forestry Assistance, in partnership with the Iowa DNR and Trees Forever.

For more information on the upcoming EAB town meeting, please contact Chris Davis, city clerk, at 319-694-2695, or call Trees Forever Field Coordinator Patty Petersen at 319-350-4185. For more information on Trees Forever or the Emerald Ash Borer educational project, visit www.treesforever.org or call 800-369-1269.

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