Currently the Newton Tree Conservancy operates a very beneficial and successful Community Tree Planting program entailing that groups of at least five homeowners request under a group leader the planting of a cluster of eight or more trees — sort of on an availability basis with two annual deadlines for applications for the Spring planting day and Autumn planting day, requiring a helper from each house be present on the day of planting. As the Conservancy is funded through sponsorship and private donations, no specific charge is required of those homeowners (although contributions certainly can be made to the Conservancy). As well, it is the stated policy of the Conservancy that its efforts should not be deemed to replace City funding, but rather supplement city funding.
Going back, say 30 years, the City of Newton, on application by a homeowner, would on an availability basis and at no charge, plant a tree or trees along the street at the homeowner’s designated site(s). In the years since, apparently funding limitations and other city financial priorities have curtailed that homeowner request program. Since the Newton Tree Conservancy tree planting program is a neighborhood community endeavor, entailing a number of neighborhood community requirements and commitments, this leaves unaddressed those single homeowner requests.
Recognizing the funding limitations of the city, it is understandable for it to refrain from initiating (or if one exists on paper, energizing anew) such homeowner request tree planting program. For obvious reasons — beautification of the Garden City, natural habitat (birds etc.), shade from the sun to cool in summer, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide emissions to address climate change, and importantly property values — the more new tree plantings in Newton the better. Having said this, I would propose that the City of Newton establish a tree planting office whereby homeowners can apply to the City and PAY FOR a tree or trees to be planted — say $300 to $500 per tree — to cover the cost of a sizable enough specimen and labor. This would also allow neighbors of that homeowner to contribute inasmuch as new tree plantings benefit not only that homeowner, but the street and neighborhood.
Thoughts on this would be appreciated — and if largely favorable — this poster would carry this initiative to city government.