By SAMANTHA MCDONNELL
OBSERVER Staff Writer
GOWANDA - For ten years, Gowanda has been recognized for their continual support for the environment, especially trees.
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
Jack Torrance (left) presented an award and flag for Gowanda being named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation. Also pictured is Trustee John Certis (right).
The village was once again honored for their dedication to the environment at a recent board meeting. The village was recognized as a Tree City USA community, an honor from the Arbor Day Foundation. Jack Torrance of the village's tree committee came to the village board meeting to present the board with the award as well as a flag. In order to be recognized, a community has to meet certain criteria.
"The Tree City (award) requires a tree committee, a tree ordinance as part of the local law, a program to take care of the trees, an annual budget of annual $2 per capita and an Arbor Day proclamation," Torrance said.
Torrance also explained some of the projects that the tree committee has been working on.
"Over the last five or six years, we've averaged 250 hours of volunteer time each year," Torrance said. "It's a lot of dedicated people that really deserve the credit. You see them out digging holes."
The committee works on hazardous pruning and cutting down trees. Local law requires each tree that is removed throughout the village must plant a tree in its place.
"We cut the trees down before they fell on a house," Torrance said. "The good news is that we have done hazard pruning so that we prolong the life of the trees that are there."
About seven trees will have to be taken down throughout the village this year. This number is down four to six trees from the average amount of trees that need to be taken down. Trees that are being taken down are older in age.
"(The trees) are nearing the end of their life cycle," Torrance said.
Since colder weather is approaching, Torrance gave a tip for residents to keep trees healthy throughout the year.
"Water them and don't volcano mulch," Torrance said referring to piling up mulch around the trunk of the tree.
Mayor Heather McKeever expressed gratitude from the village for Torrance and the tree committee.
"I can't thank you enough for all the work you have done. You really have vowed to make this a beautiful community, you and your crew," McKeever said.
The village also accepted bids for Veteran's Park located on South Water Street. The park is currently in phase two of the project and is being funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.
"The second phase is bringing (the park) almost to completion," McKeever said.
Bids were accepted from Cambpobello Construction for construction work and Spoth Enterprises Inc. for electrical work.
The board also approved a public hearing to be held on Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. for CDBG projects.
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