By Christine Matthews
My neighborhood in Alexandria (Beverley Hills), which borders Monticello Park, is known for its beautiful mature trees. Unfortunately, storms, age, and construction have claimed many of them and English ivy threatens to overtake many that remain. So, I was happy to be able to put my training from the Choking Hazard campaign to good use at the April meeting of our citizens’ association (http://northridgecitizens.org). Using the Powerpoint template on the TreeStewards.org website as a guide, I created a presentation incorporating photos and details from our neighborhood. Given the casual nature of the meeting and the evening’s prior presentations, I opted not to set up my computer and projector and just talked about the Choking Hazard campaign using the handout as a guide.
The 30 or so people in the room were highly receptive and most were aware of the damage ivy can do to trees.
We discussed how we could spread the word to our neighbors. Some suggested distributing the Choking Hazard handouts to homes with threatened trees, but we decided we didn’t want to be in the business of issuing ivy citations! Since there are key areas in the neighborhood where the signs can be posted, I am going to look into laminating the signs to display the front and back of the Choking Hazard handout.
The president of the citizens association said she would include a link to the TreeStewards.org and ARMN.org websites on their website. We also have a very active neighborhood listserve and I am planning to attach the Choking Hazard .pdf file to a friendly, informational email on the topic.
I would encourage everyone with an interest in the Choking Hazard campaign to set up meetings or presentations on this topic. It is quick and the prepared materials make it easy.