Landscape architectRochester, Minnesota
Trees Strengthen Neighborhood Bonds
Street trees are "an integral part of good neighborhood design," landscape architect Andy Masterpole says with confidence. Andy speaks from personal experience as well as technical expertise.
He lives in the Kutzky Park area of Rochester, where trees form a solid canopy from streets through side yards and into the back of houses. In a recent survey, Andy and his neighbors listed "tree canopy" as the second most important reason they live in this part of the city.
"We value our street trees," says Andy. "They provide a sense of community and an opportunity to bring people together." The neighborhood trees also bring people out to their porches and front yards, contributing to safety and security. "When something unusual happens in this neighborhood, you notice it because you know your neighbors," Andy adds.
Rochester City Forestry has carefully maintained a green canopy in Andy's neighborhood through regular pruning, treatments and removal as needed, as well as actively replanting. The department cares for 160,000 public trees citywide and works with RNeighbors, and Rochester Public Utilities and others to engage and educate residents about tree planting and care. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has also provided grants to support the planting of more than 5,000 new trees in the past few years.
Were it not for the support of state and local officials, Andy's neighborhood would not be thriving as a safe and livable community. "Trees make all the difference," Andy says. The