By now everyone in UD and Ambler has noticed how bare the St. Mary's (Madison Estates) property on Bethlehem Pike is. The entire community mourns the trees. If you didn't attend or watch the September 10 monthly meeting of the Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners, you likely will be interested, as I was, in what Township Manager Paul Leonard reported.

Nine hundred and ninety (990) trees were removed; 630 were retained. Those removed were not healthy and often had reached the end of their useful life. After wind storms, trees and huge branches came down creating danger and destruction and leaving neighboring trees more vulnerable. Additionally, it is not easy to mix and match old with new plantings.

Knowing how important landscaping is, 3-4 years ago a comprehensive plan to include more than $1 million for trees and shrubs alone — material and product, not man hours — was professionally designed, agreed to, and funds escrowed. Anyone wishing to view this design can arrange it through Township Engineer Tom Fountain's office. The future for The Villa includes 1480 new trees and 1900 shrubs chosen and placed specifically to line streets, create shade and provide screening. All construction sites are ugly during building, but that phase ends. This acreage will soon become a significant area of green for the township and surrounding communities.

Marjorie Berlinghof


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