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Board to speak for the trees

Advisory group seeks members in Sturbridge

September 28, 2010
STURBRIDGE — If you enjoy spending time walking the woods, working outside or just love trees in general, the Sturbridge Tree Warden Advisory Committee is looking for you.

"We are looking for people who love trees, love touching trees and want to learn about trees," said Committee member and Deputy Tree Warden Joe Kowalski. "People of all experience levels, age 3 to 103, are welcome."

The Tree Warden Advisory Committee (TWAC) was set up by Tree Warden Thomas Chamberland to give volunteers an avenue to help with local tree projects. Two years ago the committee was written into the town bylaws.

"The purpose of the committee is to assist and advocate for the proper care and maintenance of trees in the town of Sturbridge under the care of the tree warden," Chamberland said. "The Tree Warden position is part time, and it is difficult to keep the momentum going and it helps to have a base of support and advocacy group so when decisions need to be made there is assistance and support."

Since its founding, TWAC has educated the public on the Asian longhorn beetle problem and expanded the Arbor Day program by helping plant more trees than in previous years. Chamberland said the committee also saved 15 trees on the grounds of Burgess Elementary School that were slated to be cut as part of the renovation project. In the spring of 2010 the committee organized and planted 35 new trees in town. These trees were on town land, in front of residences and on properties owned by businesses in locations that allow the general public to view and enjoy them. The plants were gifts from local businesses and individuals and the project carried no cost to the town.

"The committee, which is made up completely by volunteers, has been working really hard," Chamberland said.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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