The Hamlet of Strome has been awarded a $2,500 community grant through FortisAlberta’s annual Tree Planting Project.
The grant is earmarked for the Trees for Strome project, an initiative that aims to replace up to 47 "decaying or defective" trees in Strome as identified in a tree risk assessment conducted last fall.
Young's Tree Service Inc., contracted by Flagstaff County, assessed 47 mature Northwest poplars in the hamlet last October in the interest of public health and safety.
While rating three of the trees as a "moderate risk," Young's concluded in its report: "One could reasonably expect that most or all of the poplars will have to be removed within the next two to five years. The safety risk will increase in that time due to continued decay and the increased load on already weak attachment points."
Acting on that assessment, Flagstaff County removed 14 Northwest poplars this spring that were at the end of their life cycle. Tree removal is slated to continue over the next few years.
Additionally, a fierce wind storm in June 2016 felled numerous trees throughout the hamlet.
With all of this in mind, including the fact that Strome residents have long complained that the north side of the hamlet is sorely in need of more trees, Flagstaff County applied for the FortisAlberta grant last month on behalf of Strome. Fortis notified the County today that the application was successful.
Trees for Strome, a multi-year project, will offer a wide range of benefits, from helping to bolster air quality and providing habitat for local wildlife, to beautifying the community for future generations.