Tree harvesting will begin next week as part of the forest management plan at Crescent Lake.
Town Councilor Dawn Miceli said planning took several years but the first phase is ready to begin. The UCONN College of Agriculture and Natural Resources developed the plan. Recommendations include tree thinning in certain areas and removing invasive species.
Assistant Town Planner Dave Lavallee said one third of the mature trees on a 24-acre area will be harvested starting next week. Lavallee expects the work to be completed by August. The trees to be harvested have been marked with blue paint. A log storage area will be established on Shuttle Meadow Road.
“Forest health, management of invasive species and benefits to wildlife are top goals of this endeavor,” Lavalle said on Thursday.
Town Manager Garry Brumback said he feels thinning out trees is as important as removing invasive species.
“Crescent Lake is one of our true gems,” Brumback said. “Managing that resource is our responsibility.”
Brumback said the work is being done under the professional supervision of UCONN experts. The plan will allow trees to thrive without being overcrowded, he added.
Miceli said the care of the property sometimes includes ridding areas of trees that might be “strangling off the growth” of other trees. A forest company was hired for the work and the sale of the lumber will hopefully pay for the project, she said. Some of the lumber will be donated to the vocational agriculture program at the high school, Miceli said.
“We don’t want residents to be alarmed when they see tree trimming and removal,” Miceli said. “We are preserving the health of that parcel.”
Miceli said she is glad the work is underway. Brumback said this is an exciting time for Southington and the town is taking an active role in caring for one of its most valuable resources.