Urgent! Speak up for our oldest trees NOW!

Urgent: Support Street Tree Preservation, A Proposal of the MNA Street Tree & Traffic Committees

In the upcoming Jenifer Street Reconstruction Project there will be an alarming loss of a significant portion of the tree canopy (over 40 trees).  The present City Engineering Division plan calls for the recent routine reconstruction practice of removing canopy trees beneath high voltage lines and replacing them with smaller, shorter tree varieties. In addition, all the ash trees, including healthy and well branched ones, are to be removed to simplify construction.

Older canopy trees serve many valuable functions. They provide shade, air cooling and air purifying functions, add to our community’s unique aesthetic character, provide essential habit for our local wildlife, absorb storm water, bind carbon, and, contribute to the overall health and well-being of people in the immediate setting, the neighborhood and the city, and improve resale value.

Marquette Neighborhood Association along with interested neighbors have developed an alternative plan to preserve and enhance as much of the existing canopy as possible and allow for full height canopy trees to for future replacement. Your help is needed to support this plan. Please attend the upcoming City Public Works meeting or write an email and support the following MNA recommendations:

  1. Put electrical line underground: A critical component of the plan calls for putting only the high-voltage electrical line underground at a price that’s fair and reasonable to residents. This does not affect existing service between the pole and houses. This alone will end the brutal pruning we’ve witnessed in recent years and permit the planting of canopy trees, which otherwise would not be allowed beneath these lines.
  2. Increase the water permeable soil volume to ensure greater tree health and improve their likelihood of surviving droughts and heatwaves by providing a slightly wider terrace of a foot on each side of the street. This increases the soil area of the street terraces by almost 17 percent. The new curb locations will decrease the damage to existing tree roots and enhance their survivability.
  3. Retain existing, healthy ash trees where possible. Treat and protect the healthy well-branched ash trees presently designated for removal. Presently, adjoining property owners are not permitted to adopt the trees to have them treated. They should be treated, and they should be allowed to be adopted by nearby property owners or other entities.
  4. Re-plant canopy shade trees rather than short tree varieties to replace those lost, throughout.

Your voice matters. Please attend the Public Works Committee Meeting OR write in support of MNA’s canopy tree preservation plan.

Jenifer Street Reconstruction Hearing
Board of Public Works
Wednesday, Feb. 3
5:30pm
City Council chambers, City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Write to: City Engineering staff, Rob Phillips rphillips@cityofmadison.com 266-4090, Marsha Hacker mhacker@cityofmadison.com 264-9277 and Alder Marsha Rummel district6@cityofmadison.com Please copy MNA on your emails: mnaboard@marquette- neighborhood.org

Thank you for all you do to protect our amazing neighborhood!

MNA Street Tree Committee
John Coleman, Chair

MNA Traffic Committee
Gary Tipler, Chair