By Mary Jo Viero
BAPA Executive Director
My viewpoint this month is about trees. PLEASE DON’T STOP READING!!
Did you know that our neighborhood is known for its tree lined streets?
When I researched facts about Beverly/Morgan Park, the first three articles all included the words “tree lined streets.” Why would these articles mention trees in the first paragraph? Because trees are an important asset to any community.
We are so lucky that our neighborhood is filled with mature oaks, gingkoes, maples, lindens, pines, ash, hemlocks, buckeyes, bald cypress and many more tree species.
If you are not a tree lover like me, you may not know that the abundance of trees in our community contribute to our excellent property values. If our trees were all cut down, our housing values would plummet.
Trees have other important benefits to our community such as improving air quality, mitigating stormwater, providing shade, conserving energy, enhancing aesthetic beauty, and providing wildlife habitat. These are only a few of the ways in which trees improve our quality of life.
So, why I am writing about trees? Because in the last few weeks, I have noticed an abundance of tree stumps all over the neighborhood. Most of the stumps were huge, which tells me that a once beautiful mature tree that was most likely 75+ years old is now gone. We can plant a new tree, it will take decades for it to mature.
I am urging everyone in our community to take a good look at the trees we have throughout Beverly/Morgan Park and first, enjoy their beauty but then be grateful for all they do for us.
I would also urge you to look for areas of our neighborhood that have a scarcity of trees. The blocks look completely different from our tree-lined streets.
As a community organization, BAPA wants to ensure that the trees in our neighborhood get the attention and care they deserve. Some trees are dead or diseased, and yes, they need to be cut down before they cause harm. Some trees wreak havoc on sewer lines or other parts of a property. Those also need to go. However, if you see a tree in your parkway that has a tag or sign on it that is tagged for removal and you did not request it to be removed, PLEASE contact me at email@example.com or the department of forestry or the 19th Ward Alderman’s office, 773-238-8766. We will try to find out why it is slated to be removed and whether removal is justified.
BAPA is a continuing its efforts to plant trees throughout the neighborhood. If you need a tree and you notice several other open spots for trees, please contact me and we can assist in submitting tree grants to Openlands. In the past six years BAPA has facilitated the planting of over 200 trees.
Arbor Day is celebrating its 150th year on April 29. In honor of that occasion, I am asking you to share a photo of your favorite tree in the community. Send me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature it!
Wishing you a happy spring, a happy Easter, a happy Earth Day and happy Arbor Day!