To the editor: Chester seeks volunteers to help water new trees

Chester has been awarded one of the 2024 Urban & Community Forestry Grants to increase and maintain a healthy tree population. See Chester Telegraph Feb. 20, 2024 article: Chester gets $47,000 grant to remove, replace ash trees.

The goal for the approximately $50,000 in awarded funds is to plant ornamental trees in targeted locations in town, plant trees and shrubs along Lover’s Lane Brook to stabilize bank erosion near the Brookside Trail bridge, and remove about 25 ailing and vulnerable ash trees identified in the 2018 Chester Tree Canopy Management Plan.

There will be opportunities for volunteers who may be interested, especially with the watering component once the plantings have been completed.  The town crew and town manager will provide oversight and guidance regarding what is expected and what is possible for maintenance of the new plantings going forward.

The cost of this project will be 100% funded by the grant award and requires no additional funds from the town general fund and does not impact the tax rate. The contractors needed for the removals, the stock for new plantings, and the watering equipment needed to give the trees a good start are all paid for with the grant funds.

We expect the initial work will begin in late March with some plantings on the calendar for this spring, fall and into spring of 2025. If your home or business are located in the area of the planned work, we will be reaching out soon to talk about impacts, ideas or concerns. In addition, we anticipate applying for a second grant in the coming weeks to expand tree planting along Route 103 South and Main Street. We welcome input if your home or business would benefit from a newly planted tree or ailing tree removal.

We have received great guidance and leadership from Scott Wunderle and Rachel Diak of Terrigenous Landscape Architecture which we are grateful for and will continue to benefit from their expertise. Also, Arne Jonynas, Tim Roper, Robert Nied, Gary King, and members of the Chester Conservation Committee have played an integral role in developing the grant proposal and identifying our on the ground needs.

We will provide updates as the planning and implementation comes together. If you would like to volunteer, have questions or concerns, or just want to stay in the loop, feel free to email or contact Town Hall directly at 80-875-2713


Arianna Knapp
Chester Tree Warden

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