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CRESTWOOD CITIZENS ASSOCIATION

WASHINGTON, DC       |       ESTABLISHED 1941

CRESTWOOD TREE PROJECT

Since its development in 1941, the Crestwood neighborhood has been distinguished by its natural surroundings, including an extensive southern and western border with Rock Creek Park and its canopy of mature oak, hickory, beech and maple trees. Canopy trees give Crestwood its special park-like setting and enhance residential social activities and property values.

But the canopy is threatened by both natural and man-made causes. Some trees have died when they reached their normal life span; some have been destroyed by storms. Others have been removed by residents or threatened by construction. In some cases, these trees have been replaced by new plantings of canopy trees; in others, dead or destroyed trees have been replaced by ornamentals or not replaced at all. Over time, this has degraded the neighborhood and, without thoughtful attention, will continue to detract from Crestwood’s distinction as more canopy and other trees die and are not replaced.

Why should we care? Simply because of the numerous and important economic and ecological benefits that canopy trees provide to Crestwood residents. Canopy trees help to clean the air, curb storm-water runoff, sequester carbon, raise property values, and reduce energy costs. In addition, they create a special neighborhood atmosphere for Crestwood residents. And the canopy will not renew itself or be renewed by the District of Columbia.

What should we do? Have a long term plan and proceed thoughtfully to implement it. The key elements of the Crestwood Tree Canopy Plan are the following. The Plan will:

  • include the traditional Crestwood neighborhood and be open to collaborative efforts from adjoining neighborhoods.
  • focus on all canopy trees, including both street trees, as well as those located beside and behind neighborhood residences.
  • Adopt a long-term view, e.g. a ten-year plan or a series of year 2020 objectives.
  • Include understory and ornamental trees and shrubs as neighborhood interest indicate. These might include dogwood, redbud, flowering fruit trees, magnolia, crepe myrtle, viburnum and others.

What’s happened so far and what’s next? The Crestwood Association has established a Tree Project Working Group, composed of volunteers from the neighborhood. These residents have developed an active partnership with Casey Trees that resulted in planting some forty trees at thirty households during November, 2009. Additional tree plantings were planned for 2010.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What is the Project?
The Project is a long-term effort to restore and protect canopy and understory trees in the Crestwood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.
  • What are canopy and understory trees?
Canopy trees are large, mature trees that create a sheltered, forest-like environment. Examples for the Crestwood neighborhood include many varieties of oak, as well as hickory, beech and maple. Understory trees are the smaller trees that grow under the canopy. Examples include dogwood and redbud.
  • What is the Crestwood neighborhood?
The neighborhood is set forth in the by-laws as of May 2004 and is loosely based on the development of homes that builder Paul Stone called “Crestwood” during the 1940s and 1950s. It includes all households from the west side of 16th Street west to Rock Creek Park and from Quincy Street north to Varnum Street.
  • What is meant by “a long-term effort”?
This refers to a multi-year program to take an inventory canopy and understory trees in the Crestwood neighborhood, to asses their condition and life spans, and to have a plan that for renewing these trees. The goal is to have the renewal complete by the year 2020.
Who’s sponsoring the Project?
  • Who’s sponsoring the Project?
The Crestwood Citizens Association has approved the project and has established a working group to go forward the Tree Project working group will work closely with the Association’s Green Team and with other collaborators.
  • Who else will be involved?
The Working Group is collaborating with Casey Trees, the District of Columbia Forester and the National Park Service. It will also collaborate with any other neighborhoods who wish to pursue their own canopy tree projects.
  • What’s so special about canopy trees for Crestwood?
The Crestwood neighborhood has been distinguished since its development in 1941 by its natural surroundings, including an extensive southern and western border with Rock Creek Park and its canopy of mature trees. Canopy trees give Crestwood its special park-like setting and enhance residential social activities and property values. In addition, they help to clean the air, curb storm-water runoff, sequester carbon and reduce energy costs.

Over the years, the city and the particular neighborhood covered by the Crestwood Citizens Association and ANC 4A08 have lost many native mature trees. The trees are not being replaced naturally. This year, we have noticed the lack of acorns – which is not a good sign for future growth. This project is an effort to supplement the natural tree inventory and to raise awareness with residents that we need to protect the natural resource of trees that contribute importantly to the quality of our neighborhood.
  • What will the Tree Project accomplish?
First, and inventory of all canopy and understory trees in the Crestwood neighborhood. This included both trees along the streets, as well as trees located beside and back of residences.
Second, develop a long-range plan that identifies where replacement trees are needed now and will be needed between now and the year 2020 and the steps needed to replace and care for these trees.
Third, work with other organizations and residents to accomplish tree replacement, care and growth.The Project will educate the neighborhood about the importance of canopy and understory trees and collaborate with groups in other neighborhoods that have compatible objectives.

  • What kind of trees are we talking about?
Both canopy trees (e.g. oaks, beech, hickory, and maples) as well as understory trees (e.g. redbud, dogwood) will be included in the inventory and plan.
  • Who’s going to pay for the plan and the trees? Will residents have to pay?
The tree inventory and replacement plan will be developed by volunteers from the neighborhood, working free of charge and collaborating with other organizations who can help. Casey Trees has indicated a willingness to provide certain kinds of trees free of charge for residents who will plant and care for them. Every effort will be made to avoid or minimize any cost of this project for residents.
  • Are residents required to participate? What if I don’t want my trees replaced?
No one is required to participate. Replacement is entirely voluntary. However, the Project hopes that all residents will appreciate the importance that trees on their property may have for the neighborhood and will, therefore, agree to participate.
  • What are the benefits?
We all treasure living in Crestwood because the rich canopy of trees and our proximity to both Rock Creek Park, downtown DC, and the mall and museums add significantly to our quality of life. Thus, Crestwood is a delightful place to live. And because it is, our property values will be protected and likely increase if we are committed to sustaining the unique environment of our neighborhood.The benefits will include improving the environment and the natural habitat and educating the public about the native trees that are within the community and nearby Rock Creek Park, our neighbor. This also fits well with other environmental projects undertaken by the Crestwood Citizens Association and its Green Team, FORCE (Friends of the Rock Creek Environment) and our volunteers.

  • What are the liabilities?
No liabilities are anticipated. During the neighborhood outreach phase of the Project, there will be an opportunity to hear from the community about any perceived liabilities.
  • Aren’t trees, especially large trees, a potential hazard?
Damaged, dying trees can indeed be hazardous. However, this project will help to raise awareness about what we, as a neighborhood and as residents can do to reduce the potential hazards from lack of maintenance and oversight.
Whom do I contact if I have a question or want to be involved?
Please feel free to contact the Green Team leader, Doug Barker, or any of the Tree Project Working Group members. In addition to Doug, these are: Peggy Beers, Bill Bentley, Gale Black, Steve Klein, Betsy Kraft, Beverly and John Ostenso and Frank Samuel. Consult the Crestwood Citizens Association Directory for contact information or email Frank at fsamuel39@sbcglobal.net.


This website and the Crestwood Citizens Association is supported by the dues of CCA members. Membership has its benefits including access to members-only resources and the knowledge that you are supporting a great neighborhood!


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