The Media Borough Shade Tree Commission is responsible for the maintenance, planting, and removal of public trees in the borough. Public trees are trees on borough owned property and the grassy strip between the sidewalk and street. Approximately 35 trees a year are planted in the borough by the public works department.
Recently we sat down with Amy Johnson, council liaison to the Shade Tree Commission and Mike Greene, Public Works Director, to learn more about the Shade Tree Commission. Since the age of 9, Amy Johnson has been a resident of Media. Serving as a borough council member since 2014, she is the current Council Vice President and is the council liaison to the Shade Tree Commission. The commission is composed of three borough residents, a tree warden, the public works director and the borough council liaison.
Most residents know they can call or write if they have concerns over the safety conditions of a tree or the buckling of the sidewalk. Johnson also wants residents to know residents can request to have a tree planted in front of or on the side of their home in the space between the sidewalk and the curb. The committee would love to see more of those requests! Every year the borough has enough of a budget to plant around 35 trees per year. Last year the public works department planted 30 – 35 trees (fall and spring are the planting seasons). Residents are responsible for watering but the borough can provide water bags to help keep the trees hydrated.
Residents interested in having a tree planted can choose from a list of deciduous and flowering trees suitable for the area. Currently the list of approved trees is being finalized and will be posted to the website when completed. The Tree Commission follows the Bartlett Tree Recommendations for the US to choose suitable trees for the area.
The commission is very conservative when it comes to the removal of a tree. A large portion of the commission’s budget is for pruning and maintaining the health of the existing trees. The commission would rather be proactive and protect the large, majestic trees that line the borough’s streets than let them fall into disease and eventually need removal. Recently a tree survey was conducted in all four of the borough’s precincts. All the public trees in the borough were counted and catalogued as to the variety, health, size, and any issues surrounding the tree. The survey will help in the planning of new tree placement, tree maintenance and removal and will be available to the public on the website when finalized. Amy Johnson reminds residents that the borough will help with the funding of sidewalk repair/replacement due to tree roots as part of its tree maintenance plan.
“It’s so inspiring” remarked Johnson to see how involved the borough residents are and the fresh ideas that they bring to the table. For instance, while planning the park at 5th and Broomall, the surrounding neighbors were an integral part of the process. They brought their ideas, suggestions and sometimes photos and drawings of what they envisioned for their neighborhood park. “Residents here in Media really love their community and it shows.” Johnson encourages residents to come to the council meetings and individual committee meetings and to be involved. The more voices the better. “When everybody is involved it’s going to be more of everyone’s hometown.”