During a semi-monthly meeting of the Jasper City Council, Bartley Wyers, a representative of the Alabama Forestry Commission gave the city officials — as well as those who attended the meeting — a seedling for a green ash tree. Wyers also provided a fact sheet about the trees, which are known for their ability to tolerate a wide-array of environments.
The Tree City USA program, which is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, exists to provided technical assistance, public attention, and national recognition for community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities across the country.
Jasper became a Tree City USA community in 1991.
Wyers said green ash trees are an excellent source of shade, which he said can be a source of savings.
“Two strategically placed trees in your yard can cut your energy costs up to 25 percent,” he said, adding that green ashes are medium-size trees that can grow as tall as 50 feet
Because they are a hardwood tree, Wyers said wood from green ash is often used to make baseball bats.
Next Thursday, Wyers will take his message — and his trees — to second-grade classrooms throughout Walker County. He will be joined by Danny Cain, Walker County’s Extension coordinator.
He added that the boxes of seedlings set aside for the community have been reserved for second-grade students.
“Right now all those trees are set aside for second grade classes,” Wyers said. “One of the reasons we target second grade students is they will pester parents until they put it in the ground. It’s one thing getting a tree. It’s another thing actually putting it in the ground.”
According to a a Tree City USA website, Jasper is one of more than 3,400 communities that are currently a Tree City USA community. More than 135 million people live in a Tree City USA.
In other actions taken at Tuesday’s meeting, the Jasper City Council:
•Appointed Terry Gurganus, Jud Allen and Andy Byars to the Industrial Development Board.
•Agreed to provide in-kind work for a nonprofit organization being created by Brylee Smith, 10, who is seeking to add sun shades at the APEX playground. Sawyer Smith, Brylee’s older brother, spoke to the Council on behalf of his sister, who has a juvenile dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease that makes her hypersensitive to sunlight.
•Issued two proclamations to recognize February as Career Technical Education Month.
•Granted a request for a parade permit for the third annual Savannah Faith Sides Miracle Ride, which will be held on May 14.
•Renewed contracts with the Walker County Baseball Umpire Association and Jasper Umpire Association.
•Agreed to close Gamble Avenue for a few hours on May 7 so Art in the Park participants may set up their booths.
•Adopted an ordinance annexing a parcel of land located at 302 Hunters Crossing Lane.