Houlton Region

Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District plans tree survey

HOULTON, Maine — Who doesn’t enjoy strolling down a leafy, tree-lined street? Aside from their visual beauty, trees are vital in so many ways that we can’t actually see, such as acting to filter pollutants, soaking up carbon dioxide, redirecting stormwater and providing positive mental health, and so much more. 

Studies have been conducted that show that trees in urban areas, in particular, may reduce the prevalence of asthma and crime, while increasing real-estate values, according to Angie Wotton of the Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District.

With these tree benefits in mind, the SASWCD applied for and was awarded a Project Canopy grant for a street tree survey in the town of Houlton. 

Project Canopy, a community forestry program of the Maine Forest Service, provides annual grants funded through the USDA Forest Service that are used to support efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs.

The grant project, “Taking Stock: Planning Houlton’s Tree Growth,” will survey street trees within designated neighborhoods in Houlton this summer, relying on volunteers to gather specific data information. The objective is to provide an up-to-date survey of street trees in much of the town that will provide a management guide for the town to incorporate into maintenance and replacement tree plantings, as well as potentially developing a town tree committee.

The SASWCD, with help from project partners, will recruit volunteers to participate in the survey. A two-hour training will be held July 8 with Maine Forest Service professionals assisting in discussion of tree identification, measuring, and common disease and pest issues. The survey project is a fun, educational activity for families to do together and is an easy way residents can get involved in their community.

Volunteers who are interested in participating in the survey are asked to contact the SASWCD for more information at 254-4126 or by email, angela.wotton@me.nacdnet.net.

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