Oswego County seeks information on tree planting projects

September 2, 2022

Trees are an important part of our ecosystem. They clean our air and water, provide shade and regulate temperature. Trees reduce flooding, conserve energy, and beautify streets. They provide food and shelter birds and other valuable animals. Trees help us heal, physically and mentally. The list goes on.

To help bring all of these wonderful benefits to local communities, the Atlantic States Legal Foundation (ASLF), a longtime advocate of urban tree planting in central New York, is working with the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning (CDTP) to find new tree planting sites and partners.

“We have collaborated very successfully on previous tree planting initiatives,” said Oswego County Director of Strategic Initiatives David Turner. “Now, we need help identifying other places to plant trees, developing tree planting projects, and creating new partnerships with communities for tree planting and maintenance.”

The association is particularly interested in potential tree planting projects that can help reduce the amount of raw stormwater runoff entering Lake Ontario and its tributaries.

“These projects could be planting opportunities in urban areas near large paved surfaces or along streets, or they could be in rural areas between lakes and streams and known nutrient sources,” Turner said. “Proposals may be on public land or on tracts of private property that border public access areas or rights-of-way.”

Reducing stormwater-related nonpoint source (NPS) pollution remains one of the priority action items for Oswego County and other lakefront communities in the current Great Lakes restoration agenda.

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Turner concluded: “Oswego County has nearly 40 miles of shoreline on Lake Ontario, as well as several of its tributaries, including the Oswego River, the second largest river that flows into the lake. Our geographic location makes us a crucial partner in helping address Lake Ontario’s NPS pollution issues.”

ASLF has planted more than 1,600 trees in Central New York over the years. They have done this by working in collaboration with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community groups that share an interest in building healthier, safer, and more connected communities through improved urban forestry.

More than 900 of those trees were planted in the cities of Oswego and Fulton. Most of them were planted on degraded urban sites surrounded by large paved surfaces or in close proximity to Lake Ontario or its tributaries. The trees helped improve Lake Ontario’s water quality by reducing the amount of polluted stormwater runoff flowing into its waterways.

Those plantation projects were funded by federal grants that are intended to protect, conserve, and restore water quality and the overall health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. ASLF and the Oswego County CDTP will continue to seek federal funding to support the planning and implementation of viable project proposals in the future.

For more information or to discuss planting ideas, contact Karen Noyes at the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning at 315-349-8295 or [email protected]

About ASLF
ASLF (www.aslf.org) is a 501c3 organization based in Syracuse, NY, whose mission is to develop and promote innovative and practical ways to preserve the environment, green the urban core, and protect water resources. Current programs combine technical expertise, planning, design, and citizen advocacy to empower communities toward better participation and environmental decision-making. ASLF helps build bridges between communities, technical experts, and governments to advocate for systemic improvements in environmental management, policymaking, and public participation.

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ASLF-Tree Planting REV

A RENEWAL OF URBAN GREEN SPACES – The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning is partnering with the Atlantic States Legal Foundation to plant more trees and improve green space throughout the county. They are currently seeking planting proposals and partners from the public, businesses and organizations that are interested in joining this renovation. For more information, call 315-349-8295. Pictured is a completed tree planting project located in the City of Oswego. Photo courtesy of Karen Noyes.

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