New type of neighborhood watch group coming to Rochester

Instead of monitoring crime, people monitor trees.

Posted: Apr 2, 2019 9:27 AM
Updated: Apr 2, 2019 1:50 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A new neighborhood watch group will have people monitoring trees in their area and reporting any ones that may need to be looked at.

Jeff Haberman is the City Forester and is the one starting the group. As part of the program, he will lead walks through neighborhoods teaching people what to look for when monitoring trees. He says things like broken tree branches and decaying bark on trunks could be signs that the tree needs attention.

Haberman said having healthy trees in the community give people more than just something pretty to look at.

“People have a tendency to look at trees as something that's nice. They don't necessarily understand the multitude of benefits we get back from them,” he said. “One of the biggest is how they help mitigate storm water in every single rain event. Without the trees that we have in our community, we would need a lot more storm sewers built.”

The program allows the city to fix problems with trees before they get worse, which could save tax dollars in the future.

“It is absolutely in our mind, a win-win. They can help us then we can address the situations, the hazards, in their neighborhoods,” Haberman said.

The first neighborhood walk is in Lowertown at Goose Egg Park on Tuesday, April 9.

If people want to request a walk through in their area, they can do so by contacting their neighborhood association.

The program is possible through a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

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