Adding to the inventory

James Rothman, Cottage Grove forester, leads a group of Cottage Grove School fourth graders in planting a honey locust tree at Huston Park in April. Village officials are now planning to conduct an inventory of all village-owned trees in parks and terraces in 2020.

Cottage Grove village officials are at work completing a grant application to assist them in conducting an inventory of all village-owned trees in 2020.

Village trustees voted July 1 to approve a resolution in support of spending up to $20,000 for the inventory project, with a Department of Natural Resources grant expected to cover half of the final cost. The work will also include an update to the village’s emerald ash borer (EAB) plan.

“If we get the grant, that 50 percent will be reimbursed to the village after the project is complete,” said Sean Brusegar, director of parks, recreation and forestry. “The grant is awarded on Nov 1. If the village does not get the grant, there will still be time to pull the $20,000 out of the 2020 budget.”

However, Brusegar is confident the village will be approved for the grant, as it has not applied for one in the past several years.

The grant application is due Oct. 1.

The last village inventory was complete in 2007. The village currently owns and manages about 3,000 trees in the parks and terraces, with nearly a third of them added since the inventory was last taken.

Brusegar said an inventory update would GPS locate, measure and report the condition of the trees, which would then be placed in the village’s GIS program. Having the trees in the GIS program would allow for staff to enter in the program any maintenance done to the tree (pruning, removal, replacement, EAB treatments, etc.) Moving forward, staff would be able to place trees in the GIS program as they are planted.

“It’s just a tool for the forestry department to better manage what we have,” he said.

Included with the tree inventory, the village would also work with the vendor to develop a new EAB plan. The current EAB plan was created in 2011 when EAB had not yet affected the village.

“EAB has really hit the village hard this year, and we want to take a look at our plan of attack as far as the trees the village owns,” Brusegar said.

The parks, recreation and forestry committee voted in June to recommend the plan to the board.

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