Oxford Village Tree Board Plans For Growth in 2020
While trees remain dormant for the winter, the Oxford Village Tree Board has been active; holding several meetings since the beginning of the New Year. A tree planting and maintenance plan is being established and reviewed, the Village code is being updated, new deciduous tree species are being contemplated for availability and planting, a tree grant decision is pending, and the research of a hard working high school senior is helping to make it all possible.
Trees in the Village increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, and beautify the community, but the planting orchestration requires careful planning, funds, and vision. For this, there is the Oxford Village Tree Board. The Board members: John Godfrey, Jeanie Petersen, Gray Stevens, Sandy Dain, and Jean Curtis, have met with the honorable Village of Oxford Mayor Terry M. Stark, four times already this year, and more meetings are planned. The Mayor developed a Tree Management Plan that is being reviewed by the Board and the DEC, and the results of a Tree Grant application is pending.
In addition to the Board, Oxford Academy High School senior and future landscape designer, Bryan Huggins has been attending the Board meetings with valuable research he has compiled. Bryan, who has been working with Mayor Stark, is a participant of the school's Work Based Learning Program. He has been collecting information on every tree in the Village such as the type, location, and size, entering the details in an Excel database as well as at the USDA's Forest Service website, i-Tree. Much of this information will be instrumental in the Tree Management Plan, determining new planting locations and updating the Village Tree Code - Chapter 266.
Funds permitting, interesting tree varieties such as historically accurate species for the area as well as bird and butterfly attracting trees will be added to the Village forest. Areas of the Village subject to flooding could become a "Floodplains Forest", where hardwood trees thrive in the high mineral soil of the Chenango River's low lands creating a complex environment for wildlife. Meetings, research, and finalization of the Tree Management Plan will continue and, come spring, the Village will reap the rewards.