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USDA tornado tree funds coming in March?

Tree projects making slow progress in town

The denuded part of the hill paralleling Charlton Street, as seen from Commercial Drive. This section was logged, but a section farther south (off the right side of this image) remains in ruins. (click for larger version)
February 16, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — Everyone knows trees take a long time to grow, but people in the tornado zones wish they didn't take so long to plant.

According to Dan Butler of Brookside Road, several tree programs "have come and gone; they promised us this and promised us that" with little apparent forward movement so far. In one case, he added, he even took a ride to Monson and sat through a tree lecture, only to find he didn't qualify because he wasn't from Monson.

At least two such projects are, however, still making some progress. One, Operation Tree Party, "calls me regularly," he said. The other is a U.S. Department of Agriculture fund that helps people with clearing and restoring "non-industrial private woodland;" That's in a second round of seeking applicants, although Butler was in the first round and has become a little skeptical of it.

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

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