July 14, 2017
OSWEGO COUNTY - Over the past several months hundreds of native trees and shrubs have taken root in selected locations in Oswego and Fulton through an urban forestry project coordinated by the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
The department and the Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. of Syracuse received a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the USDA Forest Service to plant more than 600 trees and shrubs at brownfield sites in Oswego County.
According to Karen Noyes, the associate planner for the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning who applied for the grant, the project is designed to reduce polluted run-off from urban land in Fulton and Oswego from entering Lake Ontario.
"The goal of this project is to reduce stormwater runoff from contaminated sites into the Oswego River and Lake Ontario," said Noyes. "The sites were selected because of their history of industrial contamination or proximity to a water body directly connected to Lake Ontario."
The county asked for input from residents in the Spring of 2016 and has been working with the City of Oswego Tree Advisory Board, the City of Fulton Parks and Recreation Department, and Friends of Fulton Parks.
"This type of green infrastructure is a cost-effective, resilient means of treating stormwater pollution at its source, keeping it out of Lake Neatahwanta and Lake Ontario," said Kelley Weaver, president of Friends of Fulton Parks. "The trees will also filter the air, provide shade, prevent erosion, improve biodiversity, and restore the natural beauty, all of which add user value to this greenspace. Park users are already thrilled with the new 'green' life given through this grant."
Last fall during the first phase of the project,125 trees and 101 shrubs were planted in Fulton at Van Buren Park and the former Fulton Terminals site, and 109 trees and shrubs were planted adjacent to the former Hammermill Paper and at the Eastside Wastewater Treatment Plant in Oswego.
This year 126 trees were planted near Wine Creek in Oswego along the northern perimeter of the Oswego Speedway parking area and along East Albany Street in front of the Speedway. Another 88 trees were planted along an abandoned railroad corridor parallel to East Schuyler Street, and eight were planted at the former Ames Irons Works site on East Cayuga Street. Working in cooperation with Friends of Fulton Parks and Fulton Department of Parks and Recreation, 68 trees and 33 shrubs were recently planted near the Lake Neatahwanta shoreline in Recreation Park.
The species include redbud, various types of oaks and maples, sassafras, hackberry, pagoda dogwood, sweet birch, Kentucky coffee tree, American hornbeam, pawpaw, butternut, staghorn sumac and American basswood. The trees were planted by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County's Project Joseph.
"The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh surface water in the world," said Noyes. "This grant program is intended to help to improve the forest ecosystem in the Great Lakes basin, using federal funds that were allocated to protect and restore the Great Lakes."
For more information contact Karen Noyes, phone 315-349-8292, e-mail email@example.com.
Hundreds of young trees and shrubs were planted this summer and last fall in Fulton and Oswego as part of an urban tree project coordinated by the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning and Atlantic States Legal Foundation. They included several varieties of young oak trees and shrubs near the Oswego Speedway. The project was funded by a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the USDA Forest Service. (Photo by Karen Noyes.)
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