New initiative in Normandy to save trees

VILLAGE OF HANLEY HILLS, MO (KTVI) - For new ideas to take root in a region sometimes one needs to do some routine maintenance.

That`s what Doug Seely was supervising Wednesday afternoon.

'This particular area here is called the 24:1 Initiative and that`s basically the 24 municipalities that I`m helping currently,' says Doug Seely, Beyond Housing Community Forester.

Some general upkeep for things that have been unkempt sometimes means sweeping up the debris cutting away the dead and diseased and moving on with a new plan.

'This is part of a Missouri Department of Conservation Cooperative agreement between them and Beyond Housing,' says Seely.  'So the idea is to retain the existing trees that are here because of the positive impacts they have on rainwater retention, pollution, creating oxygen.  So, these big trees have a lot more positive impacts than smaller trees do.'

Call it a beautification, safety and environmental project for the next five years for the 24 municipalities that make up the Normandy schools collaborative in north St. Louis County.

This Pin Oak was cut down due to this crack in the trunk, coming down in sections that can weigh four or five thousand pounds.

'Pin Oak trees the diameters are about 24 inches or so about 420 pounds per foot,' says Tim Beauchamp, Owner T & L Tree Service.  'So it`s very heavy stuff.  It`s full of water.'

In the spring, new saplings will be planted with help from Forest Releaf of Missouri.

But today, losing a sight that Kwame Baines had gotten used to means a new view for this street.

'Yeah this is a tree that was in my front yard,' says Kwame Baines, Homeowner.

'But you`re okay with it coming down?' asks Patrick Clark.

'Oh yeah I`m very happy about it,' says Baines.  'I don`t have to rake no leaves next spring so I`m happy about that.'

On a cold last day of November there are thoughts to the spring time planting new seeds and ideas that will eventually take root.