Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 19, 2012

Goshen’s trees are assets worthy of protection

— I feel Goshen City Council President Tom Stump’s proposed budget cuts, in lieu of collecting a trash removal service fee, are short-sighted. Our landfills are filling up rapidly and what better way to reduce the volume, our cost and get our attention, than establishing a user’s fee — like our water and sewer fees. Actually, it would be a good time to start curbside recycling to raise our ecological consciousness.

This isn’t meant to be contentious. I think we need to be serious about our ecological consciousness. Stump has proposed cutting the city forester from the general fund budget. He also stated that trash service should be included in what property taxes cover because everyone benefits from it. We all need to realize the many benefits of our urban forest, including giving us free oxygen to breathe. Everyone benefits.

Trees are part of our city’s infrastructure. Goshen’s $11 million urban forest asset, which generates $1.12 million annual savings for individuals and the city, requires a full time city forester to manage, maintain and enhance our investment for now and generations to come.

— Ned Kauffman