The city of Delaware has been named a Tree City USA for the 36th consecutive year its been a member.
City officials will an attend an awards presentation at the Ohio State University’s Chadwick Arboretum in April, according to the city arborist’s monthly report. Delaware is among more than 3,400 communities that have made a commitment to the program, organized by Nebraska City, Neb-based Arbor Day Foundation.
The program has four standards for urban forestry management: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day, which the Delaware Shade Tree Commission will discuss at its Tuesday meeting.
Other community outreach programs to be discussed include the NOW festival and the Delaware Community Center YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, which will take 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. April 29. The event attracted 500 to 600 people last year.
Organizations interested in participating can register by April 10. For more information contact YMCA Youth, Teen and Family Director Roger Hanafin at 740-203-3051.
Aside from special events, City Arborist Doug Richmond proposed $24,213 to plant 189 trees at Oak Grove Cemetery. Hickory, Maple and Oak tree species now make up about 70 percent of the cemetery, he said in a memo to the finance director.
“By adding these tree species to the Cemetery we are diversifying the tree population here and creating contrast and color to the cemetery, while still planting proven species that will not only survive but should thrive in this area,” Richmond said.
In other business, the commission will continue its discussion about updates for the city’s tree bank fund.
The proposed changes would clarify the appropriate use of the city’s tree bank fund in codified ordinance section 1168.07. It would allow the funds to be used for the planting and installation of trees on public property at any location within the city including the right-of-way. The city would be able to use the funds to purchase, transport, mulch, water and for the labor of the replacement trees for up to one year from the planting date.
At the last meeting, the commission recommended that 25 percent of the fund’s beginning balance for each year remain.
The fund is one of three options, which can be used in combination, for developers or property owners who are required to replace trees in order to maintain an equivalent tree canopy citywide before and after removal/construction.
Developers and property owners can continue to replant at least half the required replacement trees in another location on site. But the remaining balance must be met by planting replacements at a designated tree bank site or to pay a fee, no less than $100 per caliper inch of the required replacements to the fund, in lieu of replanting.
The changes would clarify that the city has the sole discretion to determine if there is an acceptable site to accommodate the tree bank site option. Public sites are preferred but the city may designate a private site and preserved via covenants or easements.
The codified section would continue to require replacement trees to have a minimum caliper of 1.75 inches and a clear trunk height of at least six feet.
The commission will meet at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St., 7 p.m. in council chambers.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.