NeighborWoods Project

                   Albuquerque NeighborWoods Project for Oso Grande Neighborhood

Prepared by Karen Rivard, a member of OGNA and project manager for the Neighborwoods project

At the fall meeting of the Oso Grande Neighborhood Association, Betta Eisenberg informed members of the exciting news that our neighborhood had been awarded a tree planting grant by our city councilor Trudy Jones. This grant gave Oso Grande 100 street trees as well as 100 additional give- away trees. The street trees required planting within 20 feet of the street. Planting, cost of the tree, as well as a water rebate would be provided by the grant. The additional 100 trees would be planted by the homeowner with no requirement of 20 feet from the street. The next challenge was getting the word out as a small percentage of homeowners attended the meeting. Fortunately, our city councilor provided the funds for a mailing of postcards to each and every homeowner. Ms. Jones’ assistant, Aziza, provided a mailing list of 435 homeowners and the postcards were mailed at the end of March. At that point one would think that there would be a flood of inquiries. Not so. It seemed that the response was more like a trickle. A few months went by then Betta proposed that we canvass the neighborhood to increase interest in the project. On several occasions, teams of 4-5 TreeNM employees and volunteers ventured forth, street by street. With our masks, hats and sunglasses I am sure we looked a bit suspicious! (No one would ever be able pick us out in a line-up). We did wear our TreeNM green shirts. We encountered more challenges such as no answer to our ringing of a doorbell (if there was one). On the occasions where someone did answer the door, we were able to present the homeowner with options for trees and the response was enthusiastic. Incrementally, we neared the goal of 100 adopted trees. A final posting in put us over the top with actually two homeowners on a waiting list. As a result of this project, Oso Grande is going to be much more colorful and shady in the future with the following trees to be planted on August 29: 50 Crape Myrtle, 14 Desert Willow, 6 Emerald Sunshine Elm, 6 Southwestern RedBud, 3 Hot Wings Maple, 2 NM Olive, 5 Raywood Ash, 7 Shantung Maple, 2 Smoke Trees, and 5 Vitex. Hopefully these trees will grow and thrive leaving a beautiful legacy long after the current residents are gone.

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