Photo Essay: Arbor Day and the North Street Woods

The Mayor has proclaimed April 25 to be Arbor Day in Northampton. Please enjoy these pictures as spring comes to our North Street woods…

See also:

Photo Essay: 10 Reasons People Like Trees Around Them; Will the Sustainable Northampton Plan
Put Urban Trees at Risk?

The environment above faces threats from two directions. First, Kohl Construction proposes to replace a good chunk of the North Street woods with around two dozen cookie-cutter condos

Second, trees around homes in Northampton’s built-up areas (where
perhaps half the population lives) may be threatened by proposals in
the Sustainable Northampton Plan,
which encourages city officials to “implement ideas for maximizing
density on small lots” (p.14) and “consider amending zero lot line
single family home to eliminate 30′ side yard setback” (p.67).

you walk down North Street, imagine most trees between houses gone and
replaced with a near-solid wall of housing. See the articles below, and
decide if that’s growth that’s smart, or growth that smarts…

Topographical Map Shows How Kohl Condo Proposal Will Eat Into a Rare Stand of Mature Trees in Downtown

Downtown house on “dead end street” in “rural setting” flies off market
are excellent reasons for many homebuyers to desire cul-de-sacs and
leafy neighborhoods. Planners who ignore these strong (and logical)
market preferences risk making sprawl worse, as some buyers may come to
avoid downtown Northampton and seek these amenities in the outskirts or
even out of town.

USA Today: “Push for urban parkland takes root” (4/13/08)
“We grew so rapidly in the ’80s and ’90s in the rate we were consuming
land, people did become alarmed,” says David Goldberg, spokesman for
Smart Growth America, a national coalition promoting green space. “This
desire for parkland and capitalizing on natural assets is really taking

It is spurred by several factors, including mounting environmental
concerns, improved property values for park-side real estate, increased
demand for green space from health-conscious people moving back to
cities and a greater availability of vacant industrial land…

Irony of Infill: You Have to Drive to Enjoy Nature

Greening Smart Growth: The Sustainable Sites Initiative

Rutherford Platt, “Regreening the Metropolis: Pathways to More
Ecological Cities”

The Ecological Cities Project: Greenspace in “The Humane Metropolis”

UMass Press: “Natural Land: Preserving and Funding Open Space” The Breath of Trees Is Good for You

Scientists Assist Efforts to Build Urban Tree Canopy “Despite Tree City USA Honor Northampton Planting Lags”

Community Tree Ordinances and Bylaws for Massachusetts Communities

Text of Springfield’s Ordinance to Protect “Significant Trees”
A: Except as provided by Chapter 87 of General Laws, it is unlawful for
any person other than the city forester, or his designees, to cut, trim
or remove, in whole or in part, any significant tree, even if such
person is the owner of the fee in the land on which such tree is
situated, except upon a permit in writing from the city forester, and
only to the extent of the terms and condition of such permit.

B: The city forester shall grant such permit only upon a showing by
preponderance of the evidence that the continued present state of such
tree endangers person, or, in his discretion, if such tree is diseased
or damaged.

C: For purposes of this section, a “significant tree” is any tree which
is seventy-five (75) years or older, or which is three (3) feet in
diameter or more.

D: Each person is held responsible for ascertaining the age and
diameter of any tree prior to such person cutting, trimming, or remove
same, in whole or in part.

E: A person who is aggrieved by the provisions of this section and for
cause shown may apply directly to the Board of Park Commissioners for a
permit to cut, trim, or remove in whole or in part, any significant
tree, which is otherwise protected under this section so long as such
commission in the exercise of its discretion is satisfied that such
applicant would sustain a hardship, financial or otherwise, which
outweighs any detriment to public interest that would result in the
application of this section. For purposes of this section, “hardship”
is the loss of an advantage. It may include, but not be limited to, a
monetary advantage or the advantage to put property to particular use.
(Prior code § 13-25).

Calvin Coolidge: Forest Protection is a Sacred Trust
have too freely spent the rich and magnificent gift that Nature
bestowed on us. In our eagerness to use that gift we have stripped our

“Our children are dependent on our course. We are
bound by a solemn obligation from which no evasion and no subterfuge
will relieve us. Unless we fulfill our sacred responsibility to unborn
generations, unless we use with gratitude and restraint the generous
and kindly gifts of Divine Providence we shall prove ourselves unworthy
guardians of a heritage we hold in trust.”