This blog represents my opinions and my opinions alone, and certainly doesn't represent the collective thoughts of any of the Boards or organizations that I serve on. Unfortunately I make all sorts of miistakes, I'm a picky eater, I can't sing and I just recently found out I have been spelling certain words in my vocabulary wrong my entire life. That being said, I still continue to muddle ever onward. Welcome.





Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't Make Like A Tree And Leaf.

I know that it can't be possible that I am the only person in Monona who has noticed the sudden decline in Monona's tree canopy. It seems that every time I turn around another Monona park has been clear-cut. What is going on? First Oneida Park, then Birch Haven and now Frost Woods? Who is signing off on these decisions? I did a little researching and found that one of the duties of the Monona Park and Rec Board is to "serve as Monona's "tree keepers" by reviewing and making recommendations regarding tree planting, maintenance, removal, and landscaping." Hmmm, interesting. I've been on the Park and Rec Board for several years and we haven't seen any of these projects pass through for our approval. Well, this "tree keeper" is recommending that the city of Monona starts preserving our existing tree canopy in our city parks and that any more drastic tree removal plans are presented to the Board before they are carried out. One of the most wonderful things about Monona is our tree-lined streets and parks. We can't just grow these trees back in a couple of years. Let us be good stewards of our city lands and leave more than rubber mulch in our wake.

39 comments:

  1. Not only was Frost Woods clear cut, but I think that some were cleared out of Frost Woods Beach. Stone Bridge Park was also clear cut beyond belief. Then there were also various trees cut out of Winnequah park too, among the many other parks that were clear cut. I thought we were Tree City USA.

    Not only that, every time I drive past the community center and Winnequah Parks and the Pool. The Parks Director is doing the landscaping himself. Is that his job? Should he not be delegating those duties to other people, maybe public works? Is that why we are paying for a Rec. Assistant? So he can do landscaping during the summertime? That seems like a pretty foolish way to spend money, doesn't it?

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  2. Monona rec programs are great and we love going to the pool, I think the department is doing well on that front. It seems like the director is making his own decisions about how our parks are being used. I read on Mononadoug that dredging material will be put in Firemen's park- will all those trees be cut down too? Wasn't that the justification for cutting down all of Oneida's trees? Does anyone know?

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  3. Hydraulic Dredging vs Mechanical Dredging
    The dredging process specified in the plans and specifications will be hydraulic dredging, and
    not mechanical dredging. Hydraulic dredging will be something like taking a large “shop vac” in
    the lagoon on a barge and pumping the muck along with some water from the bottom of the
    channel to a dewatering location at Fireman’s Park.

    Park Fill Material
    Oneida Park is taking the roadway subgrade cut material (~11,000 cubic yards of material). The
    plans for Oneida Park provided by the City of Monona Park and Recreation department with the
    feedback from the residents does not allow for placement of the lagoon dredge material.
    Park Restoration in Fireman’s Park
    Park grading and restoration for Oneida park will not be part of the assessments provided to the
    residents for the road project. The dredged material will be pumped to location in Fireman’s
    Park that would need minimal site preparation to store the dredged material. No matter where
    the dredge material ends up, the site would need to be prepared to accept the material and then
    shaped and restored after dewatering. The Fireman’s Park was close to the channels for easy
    return of the pumped water, and the site naturally was low and could accept fill without trucking
    costs or additional grading that other sites might require.

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  4. As far as I had known, the dredging material was going to Oneida, then parts of Winnequah, now Firemans. What other parks are we going to consider? Then make a rash decision like cutting down all the trees to accomodate for the material like the Parks Director is doing. How about this idea? Why don't we just skip to the end product, cut down all the trees in every park so we have none left and then just throw the dredged material in the pool because it ends up being the easy solution because there are no trees to get in the way of the project. I think that idea would fit with the status quo. Right? And another thing, can we at least keep the "Tree City USA" flag to remember what we once had?

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  5. so sad what they are doing to the city, I would rather have that blonde back. at least she didn't cut down everything under the sun. Then again the kids had no soccer.

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  6. I don't know all sides to this, but some of these comments feel overly harsh toward the Parks and Rec department. I don't agree with all the decisions Jake has made, but I think that he has done great things for Monona. I'd love to know more about the tree situation before passing judgment.

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  7. The last person to comment clearly does not understand the direction of the conversation. We are commenting on this issue and other issues to question the decisions that the Parks and Rec. Director is making. He is after all, employed by Monona citizens like myself, through the taxes that we so gladly pay each year. It is clear that Jake has done some good things for this city, but he has also made decisions that I would consider questionable and some that were simply not good (e.g. clear cutting several trees in city parks, purposing ludicrous parks shelters for seasonal operation, poorly delegated public works employees for landscaping and other various park projects, etc.). Now, I will say again, he has done some good things for this city, but when he makes decisions we may not agree with, it is our job as citizens to spur discussion. The unfortunate thing is that we are left with writing anonymously on an online blog about these issues because some of us, myself included, have tried discussing these topics with the Parks and Rec. Director and have not gotten anywhere. You meet with the guy and he blows you off or puts you down. He doesn’t like what you have to say, so he’ll tell you how it is and how it’s going to be.

    With that said, I love the city that we live in and I care about everything that the city has to offer. I am sorry if I am too harsh towards the Parks and Rec. Director. It’s nothing personal, definitely not judgmental, but when something is not right and needs to be address, we should be allowed to bring it up. Preferably with the Parks and Rec. Department itself, but if that doesn’t work, then find other means of expressing our opinions.

    Anonymous #1

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  8. my sons played youth soccer when that blond lady was around. that's one of the oldest programs in this city.

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  9. Thank you Anonymous #1. This is not about who plays well with whom. It's not personal. I don't want trees to be cut down unnecessarily in our city and I think that the powers that be should be held accountable for their decisions. Like it or not, it is our tax dollars that are paying salaries. The average tax-paying Joe or Jane should be able to voice his or her concerns without it all turning into a pissing match about who gave someone the stinkeye.

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  10. Jessica, as a member of the parks board, why not ask for a full report on what is going on with the tree cutting, why it was done, who ordered it, etc., before making this post? I can agree this is a concern, but I'd like answers to your concerns given that you are in a position to request and provide these answers. As a member of the Parks board, are you able to submit this issue for the next agenda? If not, are you able to phone the mayor and ask that the Parks board be given the scoop on this?

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  11. I do not agree with the last commenter. I am willing to bet that Jessica posted this article to not only inform the public about what is happening in city parks, but also to start conversation about the topic. As a member of the Parks and Rec. Board, just like any another committee, she represents/speaks for the people, as do the city alderman. Just like Alderman Wood, Jessica posts topics on her blog, gets a response, and then hopefully conveys those comments and questions back to city officials and other board members. This is what she should be doing, representing the people. Some people choose to show up and speak during the appearance sections during the meetings, others choose to write their comments and questions on blogs. She could have went to the meeting not knowing how the general public felt about the issue and made her own decision about the trees, instead has done otherwise. I wish all the aldermen and city officials would do the same thing. But, unfortunately that is just not the case. Thank you Jessica. I appreciate you taking this topic into consideration.

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  12. The Park and Rec didn't receive the agenda for our meeting tomorrow night until this Saturday. The matter of the Frost Woods tree removal is on the agenda. Other items include:

    4. Appearances
    A. Jane Kuzma – Bur Oak Landscapes
    5. Unfinished Business
    A. Review/Discussion/Recommendation of 2012 Operating Budget for
    Community Center, Recreation, & Outdoor Pool Department
    B. Review/Discussion/Update 2012-2013 Capital Budget for Outdoor Pool,
    Parks, & Community Center
    6. New Business
    A. Frost Woods Park Brush Clearing Information/Discussion
    B. Stone Bridge Park Discussion/Master Plan Review

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  13. As related to the tree removal in the parks. I and many others would agree that it would be really nice if the Parks and Rec. Department would do at least one of three things,
    1. respond to my emails.
    2. return my phone calls.
    3. or answer my questions with an actual answer, not in the form of a question.

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  14. Won't be volunteering again soon!September 12, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    I can only speak for myself, but I have had a hard time dealing with the rec dept. My daughter played softball this year and the director and his helper were down right difficult to communicate with. I say don't overextend the programs, do a good job on the ones you have and for goodness sake, don't be rude to the volunteers.

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  15. To the commenter who thought I should not ask Jessica to refrain from comment before gathering information, my point is that I do not feel I have enough information to have an opinion. But as a member of the Park and Rec Board, Jessica has the pipeline to that information. Once I know what the reason/philosophy is behind the cutting, then I can have an informed opinion. It's quite easy to jump on a bandwagon for something like saving trees, but sometimes when we know all the facts something that seems to be a bad idea on the surface makes sense when have all the information. And doesn't the city have a tree expert we contract with? I seem to remember the city used such a person when decisions were made about cutting trees at Schluter Beach and Maywood Park.

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  16. Ya, about that tree expert. We had that tree expert in Woodland Park too...look where that got us. Now its just a great place to catch some sun.

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  18. Hey now, let us not forget that this issue is not a personal attack on anyone. If you have a problem with what's going down in our city, speak up. Please don't cloud the issue with the personal stuff.

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  19. ". . .this issue is not a personal attack" Hmmm. So what was the rubber mulch comment in your original post?

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  20. I don't like rubber mulch. How is that a personal attack? Drama!

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  21. Ok. Sorry. My bad. I thought there was, um, sorry, a little drama over the Park & Rec director's choice of rubber mulch at some point. No? Ok, you're right. But you know, you don't have allow these personal attack posts. You can delete them or moderate and simply filter them. But you don't. If you don't like drama, then don't facilitate it with open comments on this blog. Yes, I know you're busy and moderating comments takes time. But again don't complain about something you are providing the perfect forum for.

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  22. Wow. Someone is getting angry.

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  23. OOoooo la la, it has been so long since I got a crankypants anonymous comment. I especially love the crankypants anonymous comments that bash me while cranking off about how I shouldn't allow anonymous personal attacks. Delicious. It seems to me, Anonymous, that you have a lot more information on this issue than most folks would have and you sure seem angry about something. Hhhmmmmm. Just think, if I were moderating my comments on my blog none of us would have anything to complain about. That is exactly the problem I have with addressing issues in this city. It seems that no one can raise a concern over anything around here, because criticizing rubber mulch= personal attack=drama. Sigh.

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  24. "Then again the kids had no soccer. "

    The older kids have no place to play soccer. They have been removed for a semi-pro football team at Ahuska. What a crock of bs.

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  25. The rubber mulch was one stupid idea. I would suggest before anyone in the city could suggest it is a good idea. Jessica, it was worth fighting for-the idea is good for someone who goes to a conference and hears a pitch.

    I would ask city employees who think it is a good idea to go down to Maywood Park-stand on the rubber mulch at 10:00 and 3:00 in the morn. barefoot in Mid-June for about 20 minutes.

    The decision will be clear.

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  26. Cranky? Vile? Why?

    Why would people be like that about the situation?

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  34. You open up a can of worms that the Parks and Rec director is doing what he wants around trees and then when others cite other examples-you delete them?? OK. Curious.

    I will put one of my previous post in a different way.
    What is Jake's agenda by having a sub-committee to discuss pool hours? Why isn't the Parks and Rec committee "good enough?"

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  35. I posted that I want our city to preserve our tree canopy in our city parks, didn't say anything about our park and rec director- I will delete all comments that are just self-serving, un-substantiated nasty slams on anyone. I haven't heard of any plans to form a sub-committee to discuss pool hours at our Park and Rec Board meetings; then again, I don't usually hear about things until after they happen. I won't speak to Jake's agenda. You will have to call him at 222-4167, too bad they don't have a voice scrambler at the Park/Rec office so you can remain anonymous.

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  36. "I haven't heard of any plans to form a sub-committee to discuss pool hours at our Park and Rec Board meetings; then again, "

    Read the IH.

    "I won't speak to Jake's agenda. "
    I am not asking you 2

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  37. "You will have to call him at 222-4167, too bad they don't have a voice scrambler at the Park/Rec office so you can remain anonymous. "

    Yes. Yes. You do need the voice scrambler if you are going to say something evenly remotely negative or honest.

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  38. "You will have to call him at 222-4167, too bad they don't have a voice scrambler at the Park/Rec office so you can remain anonymous. "

    There is no need to use the scrambler. When he knows you are calling to complain he does not return the call.

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  39. A question I would have for the Parks and Rec Director is when you cut honeysuckley-look at the forest floor. What is there that is not honeysuckle and endangered? I know for a fact that the frost woods park woods had/has endangered plants.

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