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City of La Crosse could set aside nearly $900K to plant more trees downtown

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You might see more trees planted in downtown La Crosse in the next couple of years, if city leaders approve money for the project. 

City council member Chris Kahlow is asking for $850,000 in ARPA funding to add trees to the downtown area. 

Kahlow says some of the money would go toward putting more soil downtown where those trees could set down roots, “in order to give the trees enough root area to grow, because right now, they live a very short life, and then they die, so they’re not healthy.” Kahlow also says there are many spots downtown that have not had a tree in 20 years.

The tree funding was discussed on Monday by the city plan commission, as part of La Crosse’s capital improvement budget over the next five years.

Kahlow listed several advantages to having trees in that part of the city.

“They manage stormwater runoff,” she says, “they mitigate urban heat islands, they reduce air pollution, sequester carbon dioxide, increase property value and retail sales, helping to create conditions for economic success, they reduce crime.”

https://dnr.wisconsin.gov

Other local leaders question whether that much money should be spent on trees in just one year, or in just one neighborhood.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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