David Marston appeared at the Common Council Legal Committee on Wednesday night to present a petition, with two hundred signatures, urging the Council to adopt a tree preservation ordinance. He also gave the committee information about Tree City USA, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation.
To become a Tree City, a municipality must have a tree board or department and have adopted a tree care ordinance. There are 93 municipalities in New York that have the designation "Tree City." Among them are Albany, Schenectady, and Kingston, as well as Yonkers, Tarrytown, Rhinebeck, Red Hook (the town and the village), and Greenport.
Greenport? Could it be that Greenport, the only municipality in Columbia County that doesn't have a zoning ordinance, has a tree care ordinance?
Greenport's code, Gossips discovered, does address tree planting, but it's more in the spirit of control--like nuisance animal control--than care and preservation. It seems this is another example of the confusion resulting from the Town of Greenport taking a name for itself, back in 1837, that was already in use in the State of New York. The Greenport on the Tree City list is very likely not the Town of Greenport in Columbia County but the Village of Greenport on Long Island, which Forbes Magazine this year named one of America's prettiest towns.
In 2009, Hudson was designated one of America's coolest small towns by Budget Travel. Let's aspire to be one of America's prettiest towns as well and protect our trees.
Photo of the other Greenport from Forbes.com.