By Pete Ostlind
Our mature ash trees in City parks are at risk of certain death due to the emerald ash borer (EAB). The emerald Ash borer has spread throughout Madison. The City has a program to chemically treat ash trees along the streets that meet certain criteria. All other ash trees will be cut down and replaced.
There is no similar program to protect mature ash trees in our parks. The City has established an Adopt-a- Park-Tree program whereby individuals or groups can adopt a specific tree(s) in a park and pay for the chemical treatment that has proven effective at saving ash trees from the certain death that comes with an infestation of the emerald ash borer.
CNI is setting up a special fund to allow the neighborhood residents to participate in the Adopt-a-Park-Tree program. Contributions to this fund will allow CNI to hire a private contractor, approved by the City, to provide chemical treatment of select ash trees in downtown parks. By pooling the donations of residents we can more effectively use this money and also obtain better pricing for the treatments. The treatments have been shown to be effective for a period of three years after which a subsequent treatment is required.
The Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood established a similar fund and raised money to treat ash trees in James Madison Park in 2015. CNI contributed to this fund. Funds raised through CNI would initially be used for treatment of ash trees in Brittingham and Law Parks. City Forestry staff have indicated that Period Garden Park and Lisa Link Peace Park do not have any ash trees.
The cost to treat an individual tree is expected to be around $225. There are about 30 ash trees in Brittingham and Law Parks that may be candidates for treatment.
Donations of any amount can be made to Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc. at PO Box 2613 Madison, WI 53701 or online through the CNI website. Please note with each donation that it is for the EAB Park Tree Fund. All donations to CNI are tax deductible.