Ligonier Borough could be the face of a new tree-planting initiative headed by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
At borough council’s meeting Thursday, members voted unanimously to partner with the organization on “Trees for Ligonier,” a forestry program through which the conservancy will help plant up to 75 shade trees in the borough, conduct a full tree inventory and link the data to Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, mapping.
“The reason they chose Ligonier is because we’re ahead of most other communities in our area as far as the shade tree commission goes,” said Councilman Matthew Smith, chair of the shade tree committee.
Secretary-treasurer Paul Fry said the conservancy is working on securing funding for the project.
The conservancy manages TreeVitalize Pittsburgh, a partnership among the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County Parks and Tree Pittsburgh, which led to the planting of more than 22,000 trees since 2008.
“They want to use us as an example as they move further around the state and do projects like this,” Smith said.
The planting would be focused in the business district, Smith said.
“It’s only where we choose,” he said. “They’re not going to put them wherever they want.”
The conservancy requested that the borough get residents involved to volunteer for tree-planting and to tend the trees, Smith said.
“It sounds like a good project since we already have a shade tree commission, and it will help the shade tree commission,” Councilman Pat Scanlon said.
“It will also bring attention to our community as they go out and reach out to other communities to do the same thing,” Smith said.
In other business, council accepted the resignation of Officer William Nicol from the police department, effective Oct. 31. Nicol held his position for six years.
“He did do a great job,” Chief John Berger said, adding that Nicol took a job with the police department in Grove City.
Berger said the department is going to try to make it through to the end of the year with its current staffing, and he will look into hiring officers in 2015.
The next meeting will be 7 p.m. Dec. 11.
Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or [email protected].