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Trees to start sprouting in Meredith

April 21, 2010
MEREDITH — Town officials are in discussions with the Greater Meredith Program about its plan to plant several trees around town.

On April 30, the GMP is scheduled to begin its first phase of a tree-planting program around town.

Trees will be planted using funds raised through the Beatification Fund, which collects money through a fee charged voluntarily to guests at local inns and hotels including the Hampshire Hospitalities properties and Harbor Hill Camping Area. GMP Executive Director Bonnie Ireland said around $42,000 is in the fund as of now.

"Almost everyone that was asked who checked out of the four Inns said 'yes,'" Ireland said.

Ireland said plans are in place to plant approximately 25 trees in Meredith over the course of the summer with the first phase of planting starting on Arbor Day.

Ireland said the GMP had to work around planting on both public and private land and the planting arrangements have been worked out.

The plan calls for a tree to be planted by Sunshine and Pa's, two will go into Community Park on Main Street and one will go near the Historical Society. Additionally, 10 to 15 trees will be planted by Ippolito's Furniture, one by Melcher and Prescott Insurance, one next to the Village Perk, one near the community center, one or two around Meredith Center, and a few in the area of Hesky Park and Scenic Park by Meredith Village Savings Bank.

A second phase is planned for next summer though word on specific planting is pending. Several of the trees planted will be from a new breed of disease-resistant elm trees.

Ireland and Town Manager Phil Warren said the trees being planted at Scenic Park would also be replacing a few older trees that an arborist said were nearing the end of their lifespan and due to be cut down in the near future. The planting would gradually fill in more trees and the older ones could be taken out with minimal impact.

Warren said that the Greater Meredith Program would maintain the trees planted on public land as part of its Beautification Fund and the town would not. Selectman Colette Worsman asked that the agreement be memorialized in some way.

Resident Jim Hughes expressed concern with elm trees being planted in small areas such as Community Park, saying elm trees are known to grow large and such trees could be too much for the area. Town officials said this matter will be looked into, especially to see if the newer breed of elm would grow smaller.

Warren also expressed concern with the planting positions in Hesky Park, saying there is an area there used for the American Legion's Chicken Barbeque and for a tent for town events that might get crowded out.

Warren said the town was contacted by the New Hampshire Arborist Association, who wanted to donate a tree in memory of Phil French, the former tree warden. Warren has tasked Parks and Recreation Director Vint Choiniere and Public Works Director Mike Faller with finding a good location for the donated tree.

The board voted unanimously to accept the donation.

Garnett Hill
Martin Lord Osman
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