The community is encouraged to attend a “Town Tree Meeting” regarding the removal of twenty-four (24) or fewer public trees for the public purpose of improving safety at the John Glenn Middle School (JGMS).
The meeting will be held on November 21, at 8 p.m., in the Richard Reed Auditorium, first floor of Town Hall, during a regular meeting of the Arbor Resource Committee (BARC), which will begin at 7:30 p.m.
A multi-phased plan is under consideration:
- Phase 2 ~ Around the current and proposed building
- Phase 3 ~ On the road adjacent to the wooded parking lot
The plan for both phases proposes replanting a total of twenty-five (25) trees and five (5) shrubs.
Facilities and consultants for the JG Middle School project will present a plan for phase 2 that will be the same or very similar to that discussed on July 9, with the removal of fourteen (14) or fewer trees.
Phase 3 will be a new proposal requiring the removal of ten (10) or fewer trees for the wooded parking lot that improves the safety of the lot while substantially accommodating community concerns raised during the “Optional Meeting” held during the BARC meeting of July 9, 2019.
A link to the complete proposal is available on the town’s Arbor Resources page, https://www.bedfordma.gov/sites/bedfordma/files/news/jgms_railroad_ave_parking-tree_proposal_11-13-19.pdf
Prior to the 8 p.m. Town Tree meeting, the Arbor Resource Committee will discuss two draft lists of trees, shrubs and perennials for the JGMS Front Parking Lot, one master list and one a short, select list that BARC will recommend to the project committee. Community members are welcome to participate in this discussion, as well. BARC expects to post the 2 draft lists on its page of the town website shortly.
It is worth noting that this Town Tree meeting, as well as the Optional Tree meeting of July 9, are new requirements of the Tree Policy recently adopted by the Selectmen. These features of the policy were included to enhance government transparency and citizen participation in the development of our community.
Before the new Tree Policy, there was no requirement to inform citizens that the Town was cutting down any public trees. However, instituting these new requirements-which require posted meetings-has on occasion, had some of us scrambling to get the meetings scheduled and posted in a timely way. For example, the BARC meeting of July 9 was legally posted, although close to the minimum time frame for doing so.
To compensate for the short time frame between the posting and the meeting, BARC and Facilities both posted articles in the Bedford Citizen, and BARC emailed many community members who had demonstrated an interest in this kind of issue in the past. Consequently, many community members were able to attend the meeting, with more than two dozen people participating in a very lively discussion.
We look forward to the community taking advantage of the opportunities now available to them to participate in growing the town their way.