Milford Borough, Pike County, PA
This Spring Milford Borough celebrated its 35th year as a Tree City! Learn how they continue to achieve standards and improve the Milford forest from the below interview between P
enn State Extension Urban Forester, Vinnie Cotrone and Valerie Meyer, chair of Milford's Shade Tree Commission.
(L-R: Linda Platt, Bill Cure, Emil Moglia, Arlene Moglia, Fern Lutfy, Camilla Doyle, Peter Rushton, Valerie Meyer, Ed Gragert, Paul Labounty, Maria Farrell, Reggie Cheong-Leen, Aleyda Cardona)
VC: Can you tell me why it is important to you and the tree commission to participate in the Tree City program?
VM: Milford has participated in 35 of the 40 years that the Tree City program has been in existence. A program of the National Arbor Day Foundation, Tree City provides a framework for communities to manage and expand their public trees. The Tree City logo is one of national recognition that reflects the values of the people who live in the community. It illustrates to residents and visitors that the community deeply supports the valuable benefits of having a greener, healthier community.
VC: What are the Shade Tree Commission's biggest accomplishments?
Through solicitation, state and federal funding we have raised over $350,000. Each year, with the help of a well-designed flyer that is widely distributed, the tree commission has been able to raise several thousand dollars from local businesses and residents.This has enabled the Milford Shade Tree Commission to manage our community trees. Our most important accomplishment is protecting the public and sustaining the public's trees.
VC: What are the Shade Tree Commission's biggest challenges?
VM: Funding is now our biggest challenge.
VC: How does the commission utilize volunteers to plant and care for trees?
VM: As a grass roots organization we constantly partner with volunteers to help dig holes, plant and water new trees, remove debris after planting, pruning and hazard removals. We partner through our solicitation brochure with community residents, local schools, cub scouts, boy scouts, the electric utility company, police department, garden club, DPW, Milford Water Authority.
VC: If you were asked to provide some advice to a newly forming Shade Tree Commission, what would that advice be?
VM: Always maintain the tree program's top priorities in protecting the public thru the following: 1) Assessment of your trees and their condition; 2) Renewal of the urban forest through proper selection and planting; and 3) Maintain the Health of the Urban Forest. Never let anyone or anything interfere with this demanding responsibility. Plant high quality trees, water them weekly in the first year, mulch them properly, and tag your trees.
Keep up the great work Milford!