"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Wednesday 27 April 2011

An $18million Story Of Stupidity

The following is a media release from the Region of York.

In 2001,  the region started planting trees They planted 19000 trees . Spent 18 million dollars. 

In 2003,they discovered only 29% of the trees survived and they were not in good health. 

Then they discovered what it takes for newly planted trees to survive.

IN 2010, they discovered newly planted trees  at the side of the street struggled  to survive the first five years due to  poor soils,winter road salt and summer drought. 

Who'd a thunk it.  After nine years, and $18 million, the Region discovered the hard way, what a street
tree needs to kill it. 

In the year 2010.


And they published a media release to tell the world how they buried  $18million of our tax dollars at the sides of  regional  roads, let the salt get at it , watered it into the ground, then let it dry up in a drought and blow away in the wind.

I heard the Region is two billion dollars in debt.

NEWMARKETThe Regional Municipality of York has approved key improvements to the Regional Street Tree program to benefit the health of trees in urban areas. The new program includes improvements to both soil quality and quantity along boulevards, as well as increasing the frequency of watering.

In 2001, York Region established the Regional Street Tree program as part of our Streetscaping Policy. Since that time, 19,000 street trees have been planted, increasing the total to more than 32,000 trees along urban corridors.
Street trees are a key component of the urban forest which improves the quality of our environment by providing clean air, shade and a pleasing aesthetic to our neighbourhoods,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Improving the survival rates and overall health of these trees enhances the quality of life in our communities and protects an $18 million asset that becomes more valuable over time.”

In 2003, a street tree survey found only 29 per cent of these trees were considered to be in good health, prompting critical program improvements to tree planting and maintenance practices. These improvements included increasing watering from four times a year to 10 times each year, installing Gator bags on newly planted trees to distribute water directly to tree roots, increased mulching, tree pruning improvements and changes to tree selection practices to focus on best growing tree stocks while maintaining tree diversity.

Following these improvements, a 2010 survey revealed a dramatic increase in the overall health of street trees, with 76 per cent found to be in good health. However, it also found that due to poor soils, exposure to winter road salt and drought conditions in summer, newly planted trees were still struggling to survive in the first three to five years after planting.

To assist the health of street trees in the critical first few years, the new program increases watering from 10 times a year to 14 times each year and introduces the use of a soil trench along the boulevard. The soil trench will provide a three-metre wide growing space with quality soil to better nourish the trees’ growing root system and increase the health and vigour of newly planted trees.

Establishing comprehensive new planting and maintenance practices for our Regional Street Tree program represents a direct investment in the health, prosperity and sustainability of our urban forest,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of the Region’s Transportation Services Committee. “Placing an emphasis on tree survival during the first few years is a wise investment and will help ensure that our trees thrive through the vulnerable stages and continue to prosper.”

York Region staff are preparing a multi-year business plan for consideration in the 2012 Business Plan and Budget to accommodate for program costs.both soil quality and quantity along boulevards, as well as increasing the frequency of watering.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does the Region have its own parks, or are the parks within the Region the sole responsibility of the individual component towns?

Most plants, including trees, will flourish if located properly and managed appropriately.

Does the Region not have on its staff one or more persons who could have provided some criteria for this project?

This appears to be another example of gross incompetence and mismanagement involving the cost to taxpayers of many millions of dollars, not to speak of the lack of trees to soften and enhance a street, a neighbourhood.

The Regional chairman has never been elected by taxpayers so far as I know, rather by Regional Councillors, often unopposed.

Does any of this make sense?

If I wanted to write a note about every piece of government mismanagement municipally, provincially or federally I would need half a dozen stenographers to jot down my thoughts, my voice and appetite would have disintegrated and I would be on the edge of some sort of breakdown.

How do you manage to dish out all this crap so consistently?