08/24/12 Last week Mayor Mark Senter called a meeting of the new Urban Forest and Flower Committee.  Members of the committee include Park Superintendent Mike Hite, Street Superintendent Jim Marquardt and City Abroriculturalist Cameron Arnold.  The Common Council appointed Steve Listenberger and Councilman Shawn Grobe while Mayor Senter appointed Luke Felde, Dan Shuppert, Marianne Peters and Mike Woolfington, Executive Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The first order of business for committee members was to select officers.  Mr. Woolfington was elected chairman while Luke Felde is Vice-Chair and Marianne Peters as Secretary.

Mayor Senter passed out a copy of the current tree ordinance and asked members to review the pages and bring their ideas to the next meeting.  Updating the ordinance will help the city move forward in receiving the “Tree City USA” recognition.

Committee Chairman Mike Woolfington explained America In Bloom and the second judging that happened in July.  He also brought up the new planters in downtown and ideas for the winter season.

Members also learned about the problem with the Ash Borer invading trees and killing them across the country and a new problem developing with Tulip Trees.  Member Steve Listenberger has been counting the number of Ash trees in the city and members discussed prevention, treatment of Ash trees or eradication of the trees.

Member Luke Welde commented, “The Ash Borer is a lesson in diversity in planting.”