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Mayor defends water tower tree planting

Less maintenance cited
Newly-planted apple trees at the village water tower site meant to beautify location and provide fruit to local residents. (Laura Blackwell photo)

Burns Lake mayor Chris Beach is defending the planting of apple trees and grass at the village’s water tower site, saying there’ll be less maintenance at the location required as a result.

“Council requested that fruit trees be planted around the town for beautification purposes and to provide a small free food source,” said Beach in a response to a query from The Lakes District News.

Village staffers then began looking for an outside grant to finance the project and filed an application with B.C. Hydro’s Community Regreening program.

BC Hydro told the village in April the application was successful, setting the stage for the purchase and planting of the trees.

“The water tower location fit the grant application requirements for beautification, community benefit and power line proximity,” said Beach.

“Grass is actually a lot less maintenance than gravel as it just needs to be mowed occasionally. Gravel requires continual treatment with herbicides to keep weeds to a minimum. It takes longer to pull weeds from a large expanse of gravel than it does to quickly mow grass,” he added.

Beach said grass also reduces dust and it was a requirement in the water tower construction project.

BC Hydro’s tree and vegetation assistance program typically provides money for the purchase of trees with successful applicants supplying the labour and ongoing maintenance.

“It brings the community together to create natural habitats and support environmental stewardship action,” indicates BC Hydro information on the program.

Beach was also responding to worries that apples might attract bears.