Branching out in Springfield
There are lots of positive changes bubbling just below the surface in Springfield, Vermont! Many of these changes involve trees -- trees to enhance property values, trees in the public right-of-way and the downtown area to improve quality of life as well as scenic appeal, and trees in town to benefit the budget. Trees provide cooling shade (lowering air conditioning costs and overall summer temperatures), slow the impact of falling rain and running storm water, and improve air quality.
A tree inventory was conducted by the VT Urban & Community Forestry Program in the summer of 2015, which maps out 861 trees currently in the public right-of-way (ROW) -- the results of that data gathering project can be found at this link. Zoom in to Springfield using the +/- scale navigation tool in the upper left portion of the map; in the information pane on the left of the screen, switch to the "map layers" tab at the bottom. Expand the "Forests, Parks, & Recreation" heading. Click on the box to the left of the "Urban Tree Inventory" to load public tree data (it might take a moment for this layer to load).
Once you see all the trees on the map, you can zoom in and right-click on any individual tree and click on "What's here"; when you do this, the left information pane will change to give you the basic details for that specific tree. You can see details, attributes, recommendations, and even a photo of every one of the 861 trees documented in this report!
So what? you might ask. Springfield will use this data to design a pruning schedule for trees in need of maintenance, a removal schedule for dead or dying trees, and a planting plan to install native species in place of removed trees and in spots where a new tree would be beneficial.
This is a great opportunity for people to get excited about trees in Springfield, not just those in the public ROW but on private property, as well. The Town of Springfield will be working with the VT Urban & Community Forestry Program to develop a charter for an actual Tree Board (or tree committee), so that citizens can be part of this big move forward. So many ways we can incorporate tree maintenance and planting into the economic upswing in Springfield!