SYRACUSE — During the Syracuse Parks and Recreation Board meeting Monday, Feb. 10, Park Superintendent Chad Jonsson said the tree board had recently listened to a presentation from the St. Joseph River Basin Commission in regards to a stormwater control grant.
“They have selected three communities in Michigan and three communities in Indiana to participate in this grant with some tree plantings, some survey of our actual forest that we’ve got with — what the canopy looks like from above, where trees could actually be planted, that kind of thing,” Jonsson said. “We were one of the communities selected.”
During the next year and a half, the tree board will be working with the St. Joseph River Basin Commission on the canopy species list, including what the town plants and doesn’t plant.
“At the end of this, we’ll end up with about 50 trees that we’ll be able to plant throughout the community,” Jonsson said. “It might be along the streets, it might be in parks and it might be potentially in someone’s backyard.”
He is hoping these trees can be planted toward the end of the current planting cycle, which would mean sometime in 2021.
Upon being asked if the grant covers the cost of the trees, Jonsson explained, “We have to match and it’s all in kind. So that is the time we spend with the company coming in to do the canopy survey, that’s in us getting volunteers to help with the planting days, that’s us digging the holes, that’s us unloading the trees — that kind of thing.”
Board member Mary Hursh asked if the trees could be used for memorial trees that people could pay for, but Jonsson said he is unsure if that is possible with the trees being a part of a grant.
When it came to other projects, the park department has hit the floor running in 2020.
The Syracuse Community Center parking lot lighting project is scheduled to happen in early March as long as the weather cooperates. The flooring project in the center’s park offices has already been completed.
Also for the community center, a quote was shared for a new furnace in Celebration Hall. One of its two furnaces is currently not working. It was noted in total the community center has nine furnaces.
Board members weighed repair versus replace and ultimately voted to purchase a new unit given its age.
In other park news:
• The lawn mower has been ordered and will be delivered shortly.
• Swim ropes have been purchased for the summer.
• A contract has been signed with Pacemaker for the extension to the park department’s storage shed.
• Upcoming events include the next free family movie, “Frozen 2,” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21; Cabin Fever Garage Sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 7; and the princess party Saturday, March 21, which was noted to only have one spot left.