How many trees are standing in Crawfordsville and what kind are they?
With those answers, utility crews could pinpoint hazardous trees and know how to properly replace them, using a road map for the city’s tree canopy.
Crawfordsville Main Street and the city have received funding to assist with an Indiana Department of Natural Resources grant for a tree inventory and management plan.
“You may know that we’ve had some big storms come through here in the last decade or so and we’ve lost magnificent, good legacy trees,” Main Street program manager Sue Lucas said in remarks Monday during the organization’s annual meeting at Fusion 54.
“So we want to see those replaced, maybe see them growing in our lifetime, as well,” she said.
The $30,600 in funds will allow the city to hire professionals to conduct the inventory and develop the plan. Trees at city parks and the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum would be included in the count.
Main Street first approached the city about the plan in 2016 to keep track of new trees being planted through Stellar Communities projects. An exploratory committee of representatives from the city, utility companies and Wabash College later formed to begin creating guidelines.
Former Lafayette city forestry manager Belinda Kiger was brought in to oversee the effort.
The tree inventory is one of several projects on Main Street’s 2019 agenda. Lucas also appealed for funds to replace the fountain at Marie Canine Plaza. She said the organization is working with a company on a plan for a new fountain in the next couple of years.
“It’s kind of been fixed and eased along for the last 15-plus years, but it really needs to be replaced and that’s going to be a considerable dollar amount,” Lucas said.
Main Street also plans to work with the city on a way-finding study and identify living space available on the upper floors of downtown buildings.
In addition, downtown buildings will be inventoried to help maintain the neighborhood’s historic district.
Historical buildings were not built with a life expectancy, said Tommy Kleckner, western regional director for Indiana Landmarks, who spoke at the meeting. The nonprofit organization provides grants to help maintain historic properties.
“It was intended that with regular maintenance, some investment now and then, these buildings were intended to last indefinitely,” Kleckner said.
Stakeholders from across Indiana will gather here in October for an Indiana Main Street Community Exchange. The event focuses on best practices and new initiatives for promoting downtown areas.