Ashcroft Community in Bloom members took on the task of compiling a tree inventory for all the parks and cemeteries in Ashcroft this Spring. The tree inventory is a useful management tool for the Village as it details how many trees are at each location, the variety of the trees and their condition. The inventory will help with future planning and current maintenance.
Judges over the past three to four years have all inquired about the existence of a tree inventory in the Village and the need for one; so, this year, the Communities in Bloom group decided it was time to put one together.
It was a very enlightening exercise for the members. While some were quite familiar with the types of trees others were not and as a result were able to learn that much more. We discovered that some of our parks, particularly the older ones, had predominately the same type of trees and they tended to be quite common varieties such as elms, poplars, cottonwoods and maples. Probably chosen for their commonality as much as for their ease and rate of growth, they are also some of the more messy or nuisance types of trees.
In the newer parks, we found more variety in the types of trees and also more thought given to suitability to climate, growth type and asthetics.
Going forward, Communities in Bloom is working on a listing of trees, shrubs and plants that are suitable for our climate. With water restriction guidelines being considered, we are also recommending that people refer to the list when landscaping their yards and try to refrain from planting heavy water users such as cedars and willows.
Communities in Bloom has been working with the Village over the past few years in refurbishing Heritage Place Park. We have redesigned and replanted several garden areas so they are low maintenance. Employing xeriscape-type plants, the water system has also been changed from one that waters everything to a system that is site specific, meaning that each individual plant has its own emitter. By doing this, water is being conserved and the maintenance is drastically reduced as airborne weed seeds are not watered and encouraged to grow. This is definitely a lead-by-example on the part of Communities in Bloom and the Village and also acts as a reference for local residents.