Lest there be any confusion, Metroparks of the Toledo Area will gladly accept $1.34 million in stimulus funding to remove dead and dying ash trees.
The park district's board of commissioners this week passed a resolution authorizing Metroparks, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, to accept the money should it come through by mid-November, as now anticipated. When the application was submitted in February, the turnaround time appeared to be much shorter, Tim Gallaher, Metroparks land manager, said.
The money will be used to remove thousands of ash trees from area metroparks, especially ones close enough to be dangerous to hikers. Ash trees, even tall adult ones, become extremely brittle within a couple of years after dying.
Some 10 billion ash trees across North America are likely to die or be taken down as a precaution because of the emerald ash borer infestation that is spreading across the continent.
The grant will allow Metroparks to create jobs by hiring additional staff to work with the park district's existing land management crew over a two-year period.