JPA asks DCR for tree maintenance

February 4, 2011
By

Rebeca Oliveira

PONDSIDE—The Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) is trying to “start the ball rolling” on maintenance and care of older trees along the Riverway, Jamaicaway and Arborway, starting with a letter to officials authored by JPA chair Michael Frank.

In October, a large tree fell across two lanes of traffic on the Jamaicaway near Lochstead Avenue, striking two vehicles. No one was injured, but one of the vehicles was heavily damaged. Other trees and large branches have also fallen in recent months.

JPA submitted a letter, authored by Frank, to state Rep. Jeff Sánchez on Jan. 5, asking Sánchez for DCR’s prompt attention to “develop and implement a plan to conserve the beauty and safety of these parkways.”

“[The trees] are getting old and deteriorating,” local tree activist Sarah Freeman said. “It’s a problem that needs to be addressed. We want the trees to thrive, these are magnificent trees, but some of them are very far gone.”

“DCR should have some kind of plan in place to deal with the fact that the trees are old and are at the end of their lives,” Frank told the Gazette. “If they do have a plan, I’d like to hear about it.”

“It’s not the first time [they’ve asked for this],” Sánchez told the Gazette in a phone interview. “DCR is looking into it right now…there is a grant that I’ve supported to replace those [older] trees. We don’t want the beauty of the Jamaicaway affected, but we don’t want our local population getting hurt either.

“DCR staff members are keeping a close eye on the trees along the Emerald Necklace parkways, and will continue to do so,” DCR spokesperson Wendy Fox told the Gazette.

“We’re asking DCR to allow more private involvement,” Freeman said. “There are [private and public] efforts underway. It sounds like we’re going toward the same thing.”