The Ames Community Tree Program
Posted on 10/23/2019 at 09:00 AM by Guest Writer Guest Writer
By Jason Crawford, Ames Foundation Board Member
On September 28, 2019, the Ames Foundation, in partnership with the City of Ames, coordinated tree planting throughout the city as part of the Ames Community Tree Program. In 2015, The Ames Foundation entered into a multi-year partnership with the City of Ames to raise money for, and provide the labor for planting trees to replace those that will be lost to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This effort culminated in the first community-wide tree planting day in September of 2015. In 2016, The Ames Foundation volunteers planted well over 150 trees. In 2017 and 2018, volunteers planted more than 400 trees. And so far in 2019, volunteers have planted more than 120 trees.
Unfortunately, efforts like these to reforest Ames are necessary, because ash trees in Ames may be a dying breed thanks to EAB. This invasive species continues to destroy ash trees across the nation, and lessons learned in other parts of the country demonstrate that, without costly ongoing treatment, EAB will significantly reduce the number of ash trees in our community within a decade. In fact, EAB has been identified in Ames, which means the demise of our ash population is imminent.
We have thousands of trees here in Ames, which improve our community by improving water quality through filtration and erosion control, provide temperature control and wind breaks, and support wildlife habitat necessary for biodiversity. Trees have also been shown to increase property values, reduce crime, and improve mental health. There were approximately 2,300 ash trees located on City managed property, making up about 16 percent of all public trees in Ames. These numbers are dwindling as the City of Ames has implemented the EAB Response Plan, wherein the City removes a select number of ash trees preemptively.
The Ames Foundation asks the public to join it in replanting the areas of the City where ash trees have been removed. The Ames Foundation traditionally replants once in the spring and fall. Volunteers will work in teams under the direction of a supervisor. Each team will have the opportunity to plant approximately 10 trees. Please be on the lookout for future replanting needs!
Categories: Enhancing Community