Earthdance Research

Community Feedback Forum for Forest Management

Anonymous
on

Dear Earthdancers,

 

We are currently making a concerted effort to gather community feedback on the process of forest management at Earthdance with the goal of better managing our property as well as the surrounding forest. Our priority is the health and safety of our forest, buildings and facilities, and guests and programs. Linked below you will find comments written by community members, gathered from the Earthdance guestbook. As an accompanying document, you will find a letter of intent written to the community in fall, 2012. We have a direct interest in receiving your opinions in order to move forward with greatest thoughtfulness and effectiveness. Please take a moment to read these notes in order to offer your own feedback regarding forest management at Earthdance. We thank you deeply for your participation in this essential dialogue.

Sincerely,

Matt La Salle

Operations Director

Background:

A hazard tree is regarded as a tree with a defect, such as a diseased limb or upended root structure, which also threatens a potential target, such as a walking path or building. This past spring, we marked several trees on the property with ribbons and left a notice on the bulletin board regarding their intention. Particular trees were marked as trees of interest because they presented (and still present) an immediate or potential hazard to visitors and/or our facilities.

A brief history of accidents and recent potential hazards demonstrate the need to address the health of our trees:

  • In 2009: $2,000+ car damage in Farmhouse front parking area from fallen maple branch

  • In 2011: visitor near-miss (described by Kelly Bitov below), precipitating pruning deadwood in the maples around the driveway

  • In summer, 2012: tent platform (located approximately 20 feet from Andy’s Cabin front porch) destroyed

  • In fall, 2012: topped white pine endangering Andy’s Cabin front porch entrance

  • In spring, 2013: dead poppler progressively threatening sauna building and general sauna area

Next Steps:

Our aim as staff and the Board of Directors is to protect and prolong the health and vitality of this beloved center with greatest interest in the health and vitality of our trees. Thus, our concerns, both immediate and long term, include: falling branches, falling trees, excessive moisture due to shade, and the resulting water damage to our buildings.

We will be accepting comments until August 31, 2013 at which point the Buildings and Grounds Committee will determine our next steps. All tree work is presently on hold at Earthdance with immediate safety concerns being reviewed by the Executive Leadership and Board of Directors.

For questions, contact Matt LaSalle at operations [at] earthdance [dot] net.

Your Comments (since March, 2013)
Letter of Intent to the Community (November, 2012)
252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA 01070 | map | directions

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