The St. Lawrence County Seat

Canton Arbor Day Event Launches Major Tree Projects

May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

An April 30 meeting of the Canton Village Tree Committee served as a launching pad for two major projects related to maintaining existing trees and planting new trees in the Village. According to Richard Grover, Chair of the Committee, “these projects will usher in a new era of care and enhancement of the public landscape, which enhances property values and makes our community more attractive for local residents, businesses, workers, and people just passing through. The benefits on these projects will go far beyond making Canton more beautiful”, Grover said. “Many facets of the local environment will be improved; our soils will be better protected from storms, which will in turn protect water quality in the Grasse River and its tributaries. New trees will provide shelter, food and nesting sites for resident and migratory birds. And our climate will be more hospitable, and our streets and sidewalks more free of potential tree-related safety hazards.”

The projects will be funded with two grants received by the Village from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Division of Lands and Forests. One, for $14,000, will focus on a comprehensive Community Forest Management Plan that is intended to improve annual tree maintenance practices such as pruning and the protection of existing trees, including a response to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation that is slowly advancing toward the Canton-Potsdam area. Improving practices for new tree plantings will also be addressed in the Plan, and detailed planting plans for the high-profile Route 11 eastern gateway to Canton will be prepared. This area extends from the St. Lawrence Health Systems Medical Campus to the St. Lawrence University entrance. “We’re at least a year or two away from actually implementing the planting plans”, Grover says. “The plans will need approval from the State DOT and we’ll also be seeking the nod from
adjacent property owners. Our aim is to improve the business environment in this area, not in any way hamper it.”

The second grant, which was announced by the DEC on Arbor Day, is for $32,000. It will involve maintenance of trees in the downtown Village Green. This open space in the heart of Canton is a community resource that serves as a focal point for many community events such as the weekly farmer’s market during the growing season and events including the Remington Arts Festival and the Dairy Princess Parade. According to Leigh Rodriguez, Canton’s Director of Economic Development, “We are excited to receive DEC funding to advance into phase two of the park and fountain restoration project. Now that the fountain is nearly complete, we will be moving on to much needed tree work, then finally planting of new trees. We are pleased to continue our long standing relationship with the First Presbyterian Church to maintain and improve this critical community asset”. Both projects will involve contracting with qualified arborists for professional services.

“There’s a need for community participation in these projects,” says Grover. “Our Committee, which is only seven people, extends an open invitation to anyone who would like to become involved. The time commitment is minor but the rewards are potentially significant. We’ve been a certified Tree City USA community for nine consecutive years now, and that feels pretty good. We can see the positive results of our work throughout Canton.” Interested citizens should contact Jeni Reed, Economic Development Assistant at or (315) 386-2871 x6.

Last modified: May 3, 2021

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