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Madras aiming to increase its tree population


Madras wants to add more trees through the NeighborWoods program, with a purpose of increasing the number and variety of trees planted and cared for in the city.

The Urban Forestry Commission will work with the city to help with landscaping and the beautification of Madras. The proposed program allows for funding of up to 10 more trees planted a year. Those trees will be $150 each.

Anyone who lives within the city limits can turn in an application, and get their type of tree and site approved by the Urban Forestry Commission. They also will get reimbursed for the tree.

The citizen is responsible for the maintenance and care of the tree for at least one year. By participating in the program, citizens and organizations can improve their own property, while also improving the city.

“It’s hopefully going to help connect the citizens and the city, open up that line of communication, and they’ll get reimbursed for that tree,” said Urban Forestry Commission Chair,Lucas Pagano. “They’ll get that advisement for where to plant those trees and what kind of trees will hopefully help get the people engaged with the city and create this joint effort.”

According to Public Work’s Department administrative assistant, Michele Quinn, the program was first started in 1997, but did not take off as much as hoped.

Someone recently inquired about the tree funds, and that sparked the city’s interest in updating the program.

The program used to be catered toward groups of people, but this update will allow individuals to purchase and care for a tree.

However, schools, businesses, and neighborhood communities can still purchase a tree and work together to plant it.

“We can bring in some trees that are besides your of-the-mill trees. We are bringing in maples, oaks, and different things like that,” Quinn said. “People can plant (the trees) into different subdivisions, right of ways and landscaping, to make Madras a little more attractive, so when people drive by they see a nice, green lush area. Maybe it’s somewhere they want to stop, stay or move.”

Right now, the program is only budgeted for 10 trees a year, but if people show enough interest, that number could rise.

City officials will take the proposal to the Urban Forestry Commission Tuesday for approval and finally to the city council on Dec. 12 for the final go-ahead.

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