Falcon Heights receives Re-Leaf grant

Falcon Heights has received a Minnesota Re-Leaf Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. It was accepted by the City Council at its meeting July 27. The city will use the $7,500 grant to replace boulevard trees that were removed due to Dutch elm disease, City Administrator Heather Worthington told the City Council last week. The city will also be doing an inventory of boulevard trees with the money, she said. Boulevard trees are trees planted in the right-of-way along the street. "We have been hit hard and have not been able to replant (the trees) due to budget restrictions," she said. The residents on the list for a tree have been waiting for a couple of years because the city has been allocating all of its financial resources to removing the diseased trees. Many trees have been lost to the disease, including a 52-foot tall elm. The council was enthusiastic about the grant, which was secured by Public Works Director Greg Hoag. "You take (the trees) so for granted and then when they’re gone, it’s terrible," said Council member Richard Talbot. Planting will start in the fall. Along with traditional trees, the city will plant several new disease-resistant elms, which look like the old, traditional elms they’ll replace, Worthington said. Other trees will include maples, ashes and others that do well in that environment. Talbot also warned citizens about people offering to trim trees for a low cost. Make sure they are licensed, he cautioned. Residents curious about licensed tree maintenance companies should call City Hall.

Falcon Heights fauna

The council also applauded the Public Works Department and its employees, who recently rescued a family of baby ducks from a storm sewer catch basin. The mother duck was waiting across the street as the ducklings were aided out of the sewer, Worthington said. Falcon Heights has an extensive record of animal rescues including two dogs, a family of cats, a beaver, along with birds, parrots, falcons and foxes. The most recent run-in with wildlife was a gopher who visited the City Council chambers July 27. It was discovered by Worthington, who chased it around for a few moments before it ran out again. The council laughed as she related the incident. "How could I make that up?" she said.

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