Montpelier Foundation Creates Tree Fund

Ed Flanagan, Chair of the Montpelier Foundation, is pleased to announce the creation of a special fund to protect and expand the City’s vital tree population. The launching of the Montpelier Tree Fund comes a time when an insect known as the Emerald Ash Borer is threatening to kill all of the ash trees in the City.

Flanagan says the programs will be made possible by a generous donation from long time Montpelier resident Jack M. Lindley.

“We have received $1,000 as seed money from the John M. Lindley Insurance Agency, Inc., for a matching fund for important tree preservation and reforestation programs within the City,” said Flanagan.
In acknowledging his gift, Jack Lindley noted “it is a pleasure to help. After 35 years on the development review board it has become clear to me and many others that trees especially our Ash trees hold our beautiful capital city together as much as its many full-time residents. Some of us have lived through the loss of our elm trees and so we need to work hard on our efforts to retain the beauty of this great city which our family has enjoyed for 50 years.”

He further noted, “Our tree board has a core group of people and with John Snell as its leader, I am sure they are up for helping us through this looming problem. With new funds and leadership, we can hold on to the views and vistas that we all hold dear.”

John Snell, Chair of the Montpelier Tree Board, said the Board is thrilled with the Lindley gift and the creation of a Montpelier Foundation Fund restricted for trees. He highlighted the Board’s work as well as its need for further funding. “The Montpelier Tree Board has worked hard over the past 25 years to manage the urban forest. Last spring a new challenge came to town: The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This insect pest has killed millions of trees since it first showed up in Detroit in 2000 and we expect to lose all the ash trees in Montpelier in the next 10-15 years. “He adds, “it is clear we will need additional funds to deal with the emergency the EAB has imposed upon Montpelier.”

Snell says the Tree Board has several strategies to cope with the EAB. One plan is to plant more trees in the near future and get them growing before the ash trees die. “Around town we will work with individual property owners and neighborhoods to have the right trees planted in the right places on the streetscape, a strategy we have demonstrated works well to produce highly visible results that will last many decades,” said Snell. “Our goal is to plant at least 100 trees in the Spring of 2019.”

Snell says the Board will purchase high-quality trees from a West coast nursery that specializes in “bare-root” trees. These are relatively inexpensive and lightweight and when planted properly incredibly durable. “We will plant many of these directly into yards in the spring and plant others in our small tree nursery where we can grow them larger and move them throughout the year, as needed,” said Snell. “We will need to add a watering system at the nursery, at a cost of several thousand dollars.

Snell went on to outline other elements of the Tree Board’s plan. “In the downtown area, where the biggest trees are all ash, we will be treating them with an insecticide to keep them alive and, at the same time in conjunction with Department of Public Works, adding new planting wells in the sidewalk,” said Snell. “We are planning to add at least ten new wells with trees over the next three years at a cost of approximately $30,000. We receive about $2,000 per year from the City and will need increased funding to meet our current needs.”

The Montpelier Foundation enhances the community’s ability to make valuable capital improvements to improve the quality of life for local residents and visitors. Created in 1994, donations and bequests support projects that provide long term public benefits in Montpelier.

Montpelier Foundation funds can be used for costs associated with the design, construction or acquisition of educational, recreational, transportation, public safety, utility, conservation and preservation, and cultural improvements having a useful life of at least 20 years, unless otherwise designated by the donor.

Tax-deductible contributions to the fund are administered and overseen by the Montpelier Foundation Board of Trustees. For more information: www.montpelier-vt.org.

To donate, gifts may be made by check and should be made to the Montpelier Foundation and sent to Montpelier Foundation, PO Box 364, Montpelier, VT 05601. To discuss other methods of giving, please contact Foundation chair Ed Flanagan.

April 23, 2019