Town of Kent Launches Community Forestry Program with Aid of Council Grant

Town of Kent folks savor planting a white oak on park land around Lake Carmel. Photo by Bill Huestis

The town of Kent, NY (pop. ~ 13,500) is located in Putnam County. In 2018, the freak EF2 (110 mph at peak) tornado of May 15 plowed through a portion of Kent, uprooting or toppling 40 trees around Lake Carmel. The Town applied for and received a Council grant to plant red maples and white oaks in some key locations around the Lake. The initially scheduled spring planting activities had to be postponed due to unseasonal weather. Town of Kent Councilman Bill Huestis says, “The great news is that we finalized our initial tree planting in late June around Lake Carmel, and as of this writing all of the trees are doing fine.”

Huestis says that the Town is launching a public education campaign on the benefits of trees and that a tree committee is forming as a sub-entity of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee. “This active committee has an arborist, naturalist, and many conservationists that really make a difference in our town,” he says. That bodes well for the success of the tree committee!

The local rotary club has made a donation towards the purchase of more trees next planting season, and the Town is raising money through a tree memorializing effort. “The grant was a welcome jump-start to what we feel will be progress in tree reforestation efforts in our town,” Huestis says. He says that Kent is looking forward to more involvement with the Council.

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