Several years after it was disbanded, the Town of Paonia has resurrected the Paonia Tree Board.
Four citizens, Roger Baril, Samira "Sam" Hart, Paula Martin and Tamie Meck were appointed by trustees to serve either a two- or three-year term on the Tree Board at the Dec. 12 town meeting.
Mayor Pro Tempore David Bradford was appointed to represent the board of trustees on the Tree Board. He estimates the previous board was disbanded about seven years ago. In addition to prior tree board experience, he brings 34 years of experience with the U.S. Forest Service to the board.
"Probably the number one duty of the Tree Board is to file the application for 'Tree City USA' designation with the Arbor Day Foundation," said Bradford. Everything else the board does is dependent upon how board members wish to contribute to the community.
According to its website, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972 and is now "the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees..." The Tree City USA program began in 1976 as a nationwide movement providing the "framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees."
According to the foundation, healthy trees can help reduce energy costs, improve storm water management and erosion control, help cut energy consumption, boost property values, and build strong ties to neighborhood and community.
"There are a lot of issues related to the trees, very serious issues, and it's good to have folks step up to the plate," said Mayor Charles Stewart.
(Tamie Meck is a reporter for the Delta County Independent and the author of this article.)