ELLSWORTH — Throughout most of the 20th century one of Ellsworth’s distinguishing characteristics was its tree-lined streets. Today those trees are preserved in street names (Elm, Maple, Pine, Birch, Oak), but the great majority of the trees themselves have succumbed to disease or development. Green Ellsworth and its partner organizations the Ellsworth Garden Club, Frenchman Bay Conservancy and the city of Ellsworth are teaming up with a group of citizens to begin re-treeing the city as a COVID recovery project in 2021.
The process will begin with a focus on extending an existing street tree survey of the city’s major streets that was completed and mapped by Green Ellsworth and College of the Atlantic students in 2018. In 2021, the plan is to survey existing street trees and locations for potential plantings on Ellsworth’s side streets and in residential areas.
Volunteers who wish to commit to helping with this survey are invited to attend one of two training sessions on April 24 (rain date May 1) from 10 a.m.-noon or from 1-3 p.m. A preliminary training/orientation program for street tree survey participants will be done on Zoom prior to the field work. The training sessions will be led by licensed arborist and urban forestry professional Tabatha White. Born and raised in Ellsworth before taking her forestry degree and working to implement urban forestry programs in Boston and New York, White is excited at the prospect of re-treeing the city and recapturing the earlier character of the community.
“Now that I have returned to work here in Ellsworth, I want to give back to this city and work with other citizens to transform our streets and green spaces with a treed canopy we can all enjoy and be proud of,” she said.
While volunteers with expertise in tree management and identification will be very welcome, this will be an opportunity for individuals without that expertise to learn to identify trees and appropriate planting locations as well as assess the condition of existing trees.
Pre-registration for these training workshops is required by April 14, and each outdoor session will be limited to 10 volunteers only. Masking will be required and social distancing protocols will be observed.
Registration can be made by phone (667-8878) or by email ([email protected]).
This is one of several activities being organized by Green Ellsworth between Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 30), and the first of several re-treeing events that will happen throughout 2021. Later in the spring, Frenchman Bay Conservancy and the Ellsworth Garden Club will be breaking ground on a community tree farm for the city, which will make tree plantings both more successful and affordable on an ongoing basis.