Comment 113610

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted August 21, 2015 at 22:04:42 in reply to Comment 113609

I've tweeted to Barton's BIA Twitter:

Good tree: Good tree

Good tree grate, iron permeable with water: good grate

Bad tree with dying branches: bad tree

Bad tree covering; impermeable rubber that can't accept water: bad mat

The pattern was the same -- all areas with rubber mats had anemic/slowly dying trees. I lifted a corner of the rubber mat after a rainy day, and the dirt was bone dry. The lack of water is killing the trees and stunting their growth.

There may be a reason the coverings are there; to keep weeds from growing. But it's permanently killing the trees.

The pattern was consistent.

All octagons that had rubber mats; all had anemic looking trees, unlike the ones with metal grates.

In the light of budgetary constraints, absentee landlords avoiding paying BIA fees, someone for now needs to bring a scissors to all rubber mats to enlarge the dirt opening around the trunks. Would take 1 person only 2 hours to do the entire Barton BIA. So easy that even a citizen could do so. And hopefully we'll see more tree survival at least until the Barton BIA can afford the re-install of metal grates. I realize that the BIA has gone through hard times and it's a nice asset we need to try and nurture, especially as new Barton anchor points appears to have come recently (e.g. 541 Cafe, La Luna Express, etc) and we can see it gradually improve.

When the area is next rebooted, the 'fancy' BIA area should also be extended one block all the way to the hospital because that's where the target market comes from (hospital staff, bike lanes, etc). With such connectedness, more people will mill the BIA.

All the half-hearting on Barton like ugly bollards, quick rubber-mat fix for stolen metal grates (or never-purchased?), to other things like these, makes it slightly dissapointing in a "failed revitalization" feel -- and this is in need of TLC by a city planning superstar (like Jason Thorne and his James St North success, but he's got his hands full on other revitalization projects and he's now leading LRT-related revitalization planning). I hope we've got someone to look into Barton rebooted re-revitalization, especially as surrounding areas revitalize with the King LRT, James North, SoBi expansion, etc.

But the city (or BIA) must take action on the dying trees to send a volunteer. A quick 2 hour no-cost citizen fix of applying scissors to these rubber mats (something that was done against professional horticulturist recommendation). Heck -- we could even intervene ourselves for just 2 hours, and save the city tens of many thousands dollars in future trees; as water-starved dying trees will often successfully rebound when water comes back.

There were approximately 8 areas with the rubber mats along the whole BIA -- but I think there is more than a dozen. Assume about 5 minutes of scissors work per tree.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-08-21 22:24:33

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