Letters to the Editor

Garry oak: Thanks for saving our tree

Wednesday night I attended my first ever city council meeting. I was very impressed to see true democracy at work in Oak Harbor, and felt fortunate to be a resident of our town. The council are a group of thoughtful, caring, intelligent people with a variety of opinions, who worked cooperatively together to come to a decision regarding our biggest and one of our oldest Garry oak trees in Oak Harbor.

I personally want to thank the city council for their decision to not cut down this tree Sunday. Instead, the council has agreed to consult with Garry oak experts, to re-evaluate the current health of the tree (since pavement was removed two years ago), and to then consider any realistic, fiscally responsible methods of improving the condition of the tree, while staying aware of safety factors related to tree decay.

As one council member noted, there are so very many people in Oak Harbor that have a heartfelt appreciation of this 300 or so year old behemoth.

I also am highly impressed with the dedication of Hank Nydam, Parks Director, who unbeknownst to many citizens, is regularly, and quietly improving our town. Just in the past month he has been planting 150 oaks, is currently working on the creation of Heritage Tree Program for the protection and preservation of our Garry oaks, and has trained his staff in tree evaluation and pruning, (we are likely to get a national award soon from Tree City USA for the pruning care given by Hank’s staff.)

Hank is deeply concerned with the well being of our town’s oaks, as well as the safety of our citizens, and appreciation for his hard work is long overdue. Thank you Hank!

Melissa Duffy

Oak Harbor

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