To the editor,

My family and I are thrilled that Mayor Billy Barlow launched the city’s “Keep Oswego Clean Initiative.” Anything that reduces the amount of Styrofoam & other garbage that cumulates along our linear park and plastic grocery bags on and in Lake Ontario is a positive step.

Usually we are pleased when bureaucracies act in an efficient manner. But when the Common Council and mayor appear to have come to a “consensus” on replacing all of the healthy trees on West First Street downtown at a meeting in early September when the agenda item was the surfaces around the trees — not the trees themselves. —c ity officials moved too fast and not in an environmentally sound way.

Had this city issue gone through a more deliberative process, those who made the decision to replace all of the trees with a single species would have benefitted from more research and/or input. They would have made a more sustainable choice and selected several species of tree from more than one genus.

A quick Google yields recommendations like this from Cleveland’s tree plan: “Proposed tree plantings should, at a minimum, consider limiting the number of trees within a single genus to less than 10 percent per planting. Ambitious projects may aspire to meet more rigorous guidelines of planting no more than 15 percent of any family, 10 percent of any genus, or 5 percent of any species.”

The Ivory Silk Japanese tree lilac is listed as acceptable for our climate as a small street or a park tree. But it should not be the only specimen on any block. Let’s hope tree selection procedures will be more thoughtful & informed next time.

Mary Loe


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