Those living near East State, 20th Street, Sandy Hollow, and Mulford Road, are getting their biggest concerns out for the city to hear.
"These are people who care about the community, and want to work together to make things better." -says Neighborhood Network Executive Director Cyndie Hall.
Residents gather in the Heartland Church chapel to hear from city workers, and to discuss where Rockford needs improvement. While Lieutenant Pat Hoey answered questions regarding crime, another city representative spoke about a more silent criminal, the Emerald Ash Borer. 7,000 infested ash trees in the area are set to be removed, 500 of those have been already.
"Ash trees are the second most prolific tree on city parkways in Rockford, behind maple trees. Ash run approximately 12 to 14% of our total canopy." -says city forester Mark Stockman.
As far as what regular citizens can do, for larger trees, Stockman has this advice.
"Seek out a certified arborist for an assessment of the tree, before you decide whether you're going to treat it or not."
City employees notified residents about upcoming road projects, and Public Works also made an appearance to talk about graffiti removal. But, the biggest issues of the night were crime prevention and speeding on popular roads like Harrison Avenue. Lt. Hoey says these meetings are a good way for the public to keep the Police Department in check.
"We want to make sure that residents are confident in their police force, that they hold us accountable, and that we hold ourselves accountable." -says Hoey.
One way they're doing that, soon, is setting up radar on Harrison to gauge the speeding problem there.
As for ash trees, there are over-the-counter treatments that can help protect and prevent healthy trees from being infested in the first place. Those treatments can be found at home improvement stores.
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