I think we can all agree that we have a beautiful downtown. Especially this time of year when the trees are at their most dynamic. The street trees are one of Downtown Colville’s greatest assets.
The City recently received a generous Small Community Forestry Grant from the Washington Department of Resources for the evaluation, inventory, and mapping of street trees in our downtown corridor. Using data from that inventory, along with input from local businesses, this grant has allowed for the creation of a management plan for our downtown street trees.
Urban forester, Jim Flott, visited Colville this summer and cataloged the trees in our town. He inventoried 240 trees throughout town and determined, through court validated pricing, that they are worth $399,000. WOW! Isn’t that amazing? What an investment we have put into our town! If we take care of that investment it will continue to gain value.
Unfortunately, the trees are severely neglected. Luckily, the City of Colville is committed to rectifying this problem, and the Tree Board is focused on preserving our investment. Money has been designated for care and maintenance of the trees and the Public Works Department as well as Streets has already begun implementing many of the recommendations of the urban forester. Pruning is the top priority, removing the tree grates is needed, and providing mulch, to increase moisture, around all the trees is currently being done.
All the trees need to be pruned and sadly there are a few that have to be removed because they are too far gone. Pruning will not only increase the life of the trees and continue our investment; it will reduce the amount of leaves that are falling onto the sidewalks, make signage for the businesses more visible, and improve safety for pedestrians at the cross walks by making the flashing beacons easier to see.
Colville Together’s goal of “…planning and preserving Historic Downtown Colville…” includes the street trees. We will be assisting in any way that we can to help. If you are interested in the street trees and ways you can help please contact the Colville Tree Board at (509) 684-5094 for information.