So Denver gets a bunch of stimulus cash to spend – and they really HAVE to spend it – so they buy a bunch of saplings and go door to door around Denver asking property owners if they would like a free tree planted in their yard.
I’ve been spending a little time reading the US Constitution this morning, and I can’t find any reference to planting trees in Colorado yards… But anyway, here we are.
CBS Denver reports that the Mile High City spent at least $600,000 in federal funds to plant 4,000 trees in the yards of homeowners, sending city workers door-to-door begging people to take the complimentary saplings.
“This fella said, ‘How would you like to have a tree in your yard?’” said John Backlund, the resident of an upscale Denver neighborhood who lives in a house worth over $700,000. …
Because the city’s tree program had no income limit, many were planted in front of million-dollar homes that could have easily afforded the $150 each cost of a sapling.
“It’s open to anybody,” city forester Rob Davis said. “It’s basically if you live in Denver, you want to reduce energy costs, you want to have a tree that can raise your property value, go to the web page to sign up.”
So the federal government increased the United States debt by more than $6 trillion – in part – to fund free trees for folks in Denver and, as it turns out, a lot of other cities. In short, they borrowed a lot of money – in this case “only” $600,000 for Denver – from future generations to provide almost certainly union municipal jobs to install about 4,000 trees.
Get this, they are claiming the trees will somehow provide a noticeable reduction in home energy costs and the homeowners will appreciate it … eventually. Really? I’d like to know how the heck they will be able to prove THAT. Certainly, a tree in the right place might provide shade and reduce a bit of cooling costs, but who says all the trees were placed in the exact right place to provide this unmeasured benefit 15 to 20 years from now?
This was a union payoff. Follow the money. The following is a list of questions – in no particular order – a real journalist would ask. Is anyone asking these questions?
- Can the City of Denver provide a full accounting of where each tree was planted?
- What was the maturity level of the trees planted?
- What was the survival rate of these trees during the first six months? First year?
- Who determined placement of each tree in the homeowner’s yard?
- Was the homeowner provided with instructions on how to keep the tree in good health after the initial shock of being planted in a new place?
- Where where the saplings purchased?
- How much did the city pay for the saplings?
- Can the city produce a receipt for the purchase of the saplings?
- How long was this program available?
- When was the start and end dates?
- How many days did it take to install all of the trees?
Inquiring minds want to know…
Remember, when this program ends and the federal government does not give them $600,000 during the next year to plant trees (or whatever) the state and city will cry their federal funding is “being cut.”