Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 20, 2012

Eliminating city forester would be shortsighted

— We feel that the position of city forester adds unique quality to Goshen and that Aaron Sawatsky Kingsley brings extraordinary creativity to the job. Aaron has helped Goshen understand that our trees are necessary for our environment and wellbeing. He has worked extensively to confront tree disease, maintain what healthy trees we already have and plan wisely for the trees of Goshen’s future.

Because Aaron thoughtfully educates the public through his Goshen News column, we have become appreciative of Goshen’s trees for more than merely aesthetic reasons.  In fact, we have realized that the urban forest is an unusual gift we had formerly taken for granted. Now we understand why citizens of the The Maple City must actively monitor existing trees and also plant many additional varieties. It is thrilling that teachers citywide are seeking Aaron’s help in educating students about  our amazing trees.

We are also grateful that, in this era of education budget cuts, this enlightening and fun field trip option is right at their doorstep.

To eliminate the City Forester position would be an easy Band-Aid for today, but regrettable shortsightedness for Goshen’s future. Continuing to budget funds for the position of a skilled city forester will surely “bear fruit” in Goshen.

— James and Diane S. Hertzler