The City of Watertown holds a unique urban arboretum that provides immense beauty and many benefits for people and nature. The arboretum has over 35 different species of trees and is located on both private and public property between Sterling and Stone Street one block south of Public Square.
Invasive species and climate change threaten the health of this arboretum and other street trees and green spaces in the City. To help protect their trees the City of Watertown has taken measures to develop an Urban Tree Management Guide. The guide outlines tree management plans that the City will implement to enhance the health of their urban forest. In addition, Watertown is adopting strategies outlined in the SLELO PRISM Urban Forest Sustainability Guide.
Watertown has a dedicated tree group called, Tree Watertown, that collaborates to protect the trees. Tree Watertown meets on the second Thursday of every month, at 4:30 p.m. Currently, meetings are being held virtually. Typically, the group meets in the Watertown City Council Chambers on the 3rd floor of City Hall, located at 245 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601. Those interested in attending a meeting can reach out to The Tree Watertown Facebook page or contact Mike DeMarco at mdemarco@Watertown-ny.gov.
To raise awareness and appreciation for the Watertown Arboretum, an interactive story-map is available for use on mobile devices to allow community members to take a guided tour and learn about the trees in the arboretum and about the invasive species that threaten them.
Volunteers helped plant trees in Watertown in the fall of 2020 honoring former Watertown Mayor Tom Walker . Funding through SLELO’s Urban Forest Sustainability Initiative reimbursement program was used to purchase some of the trees planted.
The Village of Pulaski planted 17 native or non-invasive tree species along Rome road on October 30th, 2021. A presentation was held on the 5th of April, the Mayor of Pulaski along with other members of the community attended this presentation.
The Village of Massena, NY held a tree planting on November 11th, 2021. Folks involved with the urban program including Andrew McMahon, Superintendent, of the Town of Massena Electric Department, and Hassan Fayad, Superintendent, of the Village of Massena Department of Public Works, were present. A presentation was held on the 3rd of June, 2021.
The Village of Canton, NY has planted over 30 trees of various varieties at the Bend of the River park and other community spaces. Plantings occurred in the fall of 2021 over three days led by the Canton Tree Committee and DPW with help from, SLELO PRISM, the Soil, and Water Conservation District, SLL BOCES Agriculture Studies Academy, along with students from local schools and the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Professional instructors provided demonstrations of proper tree planting after the Canton DPW workers broke ground for the trees. All trees are planted, staked, caged, watered, and mulched, and DPW will continue watering for the remainder of this season and next spring.
The Village of Potsdam planting occurred in November of 2022. A total of 38 trees with 6 different non-invasive species were planted in residential neighborhoods. The Village of Potsdam Planning Board and Sara Lync assisted in selecting the trees and the Department of Public Works planted the trees. A presentation for the UFSI was given in person so a recording isn’t available.
The Village of Sackets Harbor tree planting occurred in November of 2022. A total of 28 trees with 7 different non-invasive species were planted in residential neighborhoods. The trees were planted by All Seasons Landscaping in collaboration with the Sackets Harbor Tree Committee. Residents have agreed to water trees planted near their homes.
The City of Ogdensburg received an in-person presentation on June 14th, 2022. A tree was planted in observance of Arbor Day.