With the cooperation and support of the Village Board of Trustees, in
particular Trustee David Seymour, a group of village citizens and
businesspeople formed the Red Hook Village Green Committee in Spring 2002.
During the few years prior, the village had cut down scores of old maple
trees, many of which were over 100 years old. The village, however, did not
replace the maples. Residents' concern over the situation led to the
formation of the committee, which dedicated itself to ensuring that the
missing trees, as well as any future trees cut down, would be replaced and
that additional trees would also be planted.
Fall 2002 brought the committee's first successes Two planting dates brought 11
new trees to the village's business district. Also, on October 7, 2002, the
Village Board passed into a law an ordinance implementing a community forestry
program. Not dealing with mere tree replacement, the ordinance ensures the
proactive pursuit of a healthy tree population for the village. Trees will
be regularly inspected, properly maintained, taken down only when necessary,
and replaced promptly upon removal. Planting guidelines ensure the selection
of aesthetically and ecologically appropriate trees.
The ordinance also provides an annual budget for the community forestry
program, establishes an annual Arbor Day observance and proclamation, and
makes the Red Hook Village Green Committee an official actor on behalf of
the village government. Each year, the Village Board appoints three people
to one-year terms as the committee's officers. The officers then develop and implement the
community forestry program and the Arbor Day observance for the coming year,
with the assistance of the committee's other members from throughout the community. The ordinance's
various provisions combine to qualify the Village of Red Hook for
recognition by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a
Tree City USA,
allowing the Village of Red Hook to benefit from various kinds of assistance
for its community forestry program.
The committee took perhaps its biggest step forward in early 2004 when it created a Forestry Management Plan. The plan is based on a street tree inventory conducted in September 2003 by Cornell's Community Forestry Outreach Program. The forestry management plan will ensure the long-term health of the village tree population, guiding Village Green activity for years to come.
Dedicated to beautifying and ensuring the ecological health of the Village
of Red Hook, the Red Hook Village Green Committee looks forward to a
successful future with the volunteer and
of the community.