Grand Rapids City Commission approves major forestry initiative
The Grand Rapids City Commission has approved a new major forestry initiative they say will improve public safety. Grand Rapids forestry officials are set to begin removing nearly 1600 trees in the city after Commissioners voted to move forward with the initiative. Labeled as priority 1, the trees have been identified as potentially posing a threat to public safety, says Park Superintendent Joe Sulak.
“So these are the trees that are either standing dead, or there is a lot of dead material within that tree,” Sulak said. “So when you have high wind events, or other weather events, you could have issues with these trees, with limbs falling or whole trees falling over, and so we want to make sure that we get these addressed as soon as we can.”
Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss in 2016 began the Mayor’s Greening Initiative with the goal of having a 40 percent tree canopy over the city. Sulak says, while the removal of trees may seem like a step backwards, the initiative long term will improve tree health and help the city meet the mayor’s goal.