by Elizabeth Parker
MONTPELIER — When you stop for a moment and appreciate the many tree lined streets we have here, you quickly realize that trees are treasured members of our community. Trees create shade, exhale oxygen, buffer sound and have a traffic calming effect. St. Paul Street runs between School and Liberty Streets. Once lined with trees, one by one they have had to be cut down. Tree lover and St. Paul Street resident Lynn Wild had an idea. She engaged her neighbors to vision what could be done to bring their street back to life. In January the neighbors got together at the Baptist/Lighthouse Church. A plan to plant 12 trees developed.
Fortunately, the Montpelier Tree Board — who maintains a tree nursery at the North Branch Nature Center — had mature stock that needed a home. Over the past couple of weeks, volunteers and Parks crew members have engaged in a labor of love sighting, hole digging and planting the trees.
A few days ago, I took a five-year old friend on a walk along St. Paul Street playing a game modified from Find Waldo which morphed into a ‘find the 12 trees.’ We found pears and plums, elderberry and serviceberry, hazelnuts, honey locust and oaks and finally a forsythia. We talked about cross pollination. I highly recommend this walk just a short distance from the library and the elementary school for any K-4 students you know. Indeed, the students from Union Elementary will be studying the trees and their growth.
Bravo to the residents of St. Paul Street for their 12 glorious trees. If any other streets here in Montpelier are feeling denuded and oxygen starved, our tree board and the St. Paul neighborhood have experience to share. You might want to invite some new neighbors to take root and blossom in your neighborhood.