GLADSTONE - High school youth may soon be identifying trees around Gladstone, if a grant the city is applying for comes through.
The city commission voted to move forward and apply for the Community Forestry Grant from the Michigan DNR. The grant would give the city approximately $27,770 in funds and labor for management and planning, tree planting, education and training, and Arbor Day celebrations.
About $13,850 would come from the DNR, $3,885 would come from the city, and a volunteer labor force - equaling $10,000 - would come from a partnership with Gladstone Public Schools.
"We're going to use the high school kids from the biology class to actually do the inventorying of the trees in our boulevards and parks," said Barry Lund, superintendent of Gladstone Public Works.
The tree inventory would be used to plan tree locations, assist in boulevard disputes, and would become part of the information available on the city's new geographic information system.
"You'll know every tree's exact location on the Earth and the type and species of tree," said Commissioner Joe Maki. "I've seen that in in GIS systems before, and that's a lot of data gathering but once it's there it's there."
As part of this program, the city would be developing a new tree ordinance. Currently, the city uses a two-page policy for managing trees in boulevards and parks across the city.
Because boulevards are city property but residents can request to plant trees in them, conflicts arise when residents want to remove those trees. An ordinance would help to clarify and enforce the rules for trees in boulevards.
The $3,885 of city money that will be used in this project has already been set aside to be used for projects that would fall under this grant. "More or less it is in the budget," said Maki.
A video recording of Monday's meeting will be aired Oct. 4 on cable channel 12 following the broadcast of the Escanaba City Council meeting.