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Mil Gracias - August 6, 2012

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This letter is written to thank members of the community who have helped the Tree Board of the City to upgrade the condition of the city parks.

First we need to praise the Parks Department. They have done heroic work with limited resources. Parks Director Jeff Rudolph has only two full-time assistants to try to take care of nearly 40 locations around the city. They have managed to install effluent water supplies to several city parks, including Plaza and Marrujo Park on Commerce Street. The availability of drip irrigation at these locations has allowed the Tree Board and its partners to plant more than 100 trees in the parks in the last few months. More than 70 poplar and lilac plants were placed in Marrujo Park.

The Tree Board, Tierras y Montes Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Las Vegas sought and won a grant from the New Mexico Forestry Division’s Urban Forestry Assistance Program. This grant not only supported the recent pruning and hazardous tree removal work in Plaza, Lincoln, Keyes, South Pacific and Carnegie parks but also supported the purchase of replacement trees for the parks.

In celebration of Arbor Day this year, Mr. Rudolph’s crew dug the holes for the new trees and assisted the Cub Scouts of Pack 60, the City Council, the Tree Board and interested citizens in the planting and protection of six renewal trees in Carnegie Park. Local citizens Jane Lumsden of Semilla Natural Foods and Emelie Olson donated trees to this effort and should be publicly thanked for their interest in and commitment to the future of the community forest. The city is doing what it can in these hard economic times to increase support for the efforts being made to increase public safety, preserve the legacy of trees by pruning to increase their health and vigor and to make our parks more beautiful.

We applaud these efforts and urge the city to make even greater commitment to increasing permanent parks department staff to levels that can sustain and improve park conditions.

Other institutions that have helped in these projects include the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the Mora Research Station of New Mexico State University, New Mexico State Forestry fire crews and interested local citizens. None of this could have been accomplished by any of these groups individually. We wish to thank all of these people and institutions for working together to make big things possible for the future of Las Vegas.

John Spencer
Chair, Las Vegas Tree Board