A $50,000, 18-month project to inventory trees in the Town of Huntington’s 60 active parks is scheduled to launch in the fall.
The goal is to analyze tree and habitat conditions and identify planting locations. This will enable the town to assess hazardous situations, including trees that are unsafe, diseased or infested with harmful insects.
Town officials said it will also enable the town to increase the diversity and coverage of its forest canopy, which in turn will help reduce runoff and erosion, filter contaminants, improve air quality and cool air temperature.
“These parks are the most actively used, and we need to make sure that the trees there are healthy and vigorous and to ensure that they receive the best care so we can maintain public safety,” Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said.
Last month, the town issued a request for proposals for a consultant who will use global positioning system devices to record the location, species, diameter at breast height, relative health and crown width of all landscape trees in the active parks. The consultant would also consider new tree planting locations and recommend the number and type of trees to be planted.
Christian Granelli, who along with Margo Myles and planning department staff, who are expected to work closely on the project, said it will help beautify active town parks.
“We’ll be adding more trees to the parks,” Granelli said. “And if there are any existing issues with trees that may not be healthy or may be hazardous, we’ll be aware and go out and remove those trees and replace them with new trees.”
Town Board member Mark Cuthbertson said the inventory “is a logical next step in implementing the Green Huntington tree management and planting program that is an important element of the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.”
Project cost will be divided between a state Urban and Community Forestry Grant and Town Environmental Open Space and Park Fund Review Advisory Committee funds.