Monday, June 2, 2014

OMG - Waunakee - Trees, Sofie and Iggy

Squirrel . . . Squirrel .. . .we had our very first sighting of a squirrel in our back yard last week.  Twice actually.  I believe he is the forward recon unit for the squirrel kingdom.  He was checking out if the branches of our birch tree (which is REALLY growing) and if he could reach the feeder yet.  No he can't, maybe next year.

After surveying our yard he went to the next yard. He probably went back to his dray, or scurry (a group of squirrels) and said perhaps NEXT year.
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While Dane and Rock County Humane Societies were giving away pets for free and tossing in some salt and pepper for seasoning we went to the Columbia County Humane Society and purchased two amazing kittens and now we have a clowder or kindle of kittens.


We were worried as we picked up Sofie (on left - 2 months 2 weeks old) 5 days before Iggy (on right, 2 months 1 week old).  Sofie was an amazingly awesome kitten.  Seriously.  After spending 11 long, tough, sleepless years with Milo (God rest his soul) we had been blessed with the perfect kitten and NO - all kittens are not perfect.

So then we went to get Iggy.  How would they get along, would we ruin a good thing?

Sofie was annoyed with Iggy who is a laid back dude who just wanted to chill a little because his balls sort of hurt, or whatever was there and are not there now hurt.  And Sofie would just sort of play hiss A LOT.

They wrestled but with perky ears and long story short now we have to stop Iggy from trying to breast feed on Sofie who does not mind!  We knew all was well when we work up and Iggy was sleeping on top of Sofie who didn't seem to mind that much.  

Sofie is a controlling lover that loves to play with any tail available and Iggy is a laid back dude that likes toys and hanging out.         

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OMG - Waunakee

Waunakee is going through what Columbus will go through in 3 years and they REALLY got it going! They have their own website dedicated to the reconstruction and streetscape with updates and GREAT ideas.

We need to suck their brains!  They have online outlines and progress reports and a big street dance when it's completed, promotions, the Chamber has WaunaDollars, their own Construction Facebook page, timelines and so forth!  THAT is how it's done!

  
We can go to school with these guys! 


There was a post on Columbus Connects asking about trees and this image



The question was - do Columbus residents want trees downtown??? 

Out of I believe 80 responses (an I'm making an uneducated guess here) 75 wanted trees, 4 were concerned with the cost and one person hated Obama.

That is Mount Horeb and I took a lot of streetscape images. They used REAL bricks for crosswalks, had bump outs, wooden benches every 4 or 5 stores (hmmmm, where could we get wood from).  

Oddly there was a little resistance at the 16/60 task force when I brought up trees.  Here is a list of why we NEED trees

Mature shade trees provide annual benefits that range between $40-80 per tree, while management costs are $15-30 per tree.

Benefits increase with tree size because larger trees support more leaf surface area than smaller trees.

In general, larger trees are more expensive to maintain than smaller trees, but increased benefits more than offset the difference

Benefit-cost ratios range from 1.5 to 1.9 for all street and park trees, indicating that $1.50 to $1.90 is returned in benefits for every $1 spent on managing an urban forestry program.

Pruning is usually the single greatest cost, followed by expenditures for tree planting, removal, administration, and hardscape repair.

Irrigation costs vary regionally, but average nearly $1 per tree annually in regions where trees receive hand-watering during periods of establishment and aridity.

In a hot, arid climate, increasing street tree shade by 20% increases the pavement condition index 11%. Once large-stature shade trees have matured, their shade can extend the resurfacing cycle from 6 to 13 years, reducing preventive maintenance costs by 50%. 

 Air pollutant uptake benefits are greatest in regions where pollution concentrations are highest and tree canopy cover is most extensive. In such areas, net annual uptake for a large tree may be 3-5 lbs ($25-35 implied value based on California emissions trading prices). One can see this by rubbing their hands over the foliage and noting the soot on their hands. If the tree wasn't there the soot would be in people's lungs, on their cars, clothes, homes, and other surfaces.

Trees reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide annually by 100-200 lbs per tree depending on species, age, and location. This benefit is valued at $1-2 per tree.  

And not on that list is noise pollution.  Think of all the trucks that speed (literally) through Columbus and their sound bouncing off all that brick.  Trees will deaden the sound.

We NEED trees.  OH - a friend of mine says bioswales are a big deal now and since Columbus is a "green" community this is something to seriously look into downtown. Many towns are using a bump out that is actually a bioswale and maybe there are some grants we can use for this.

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Branding. 

Every successful company in the world has a brand.  Something that tells people what you stand for. The CDA talked about branding for a few minutes about 8 months ago and Steve Sobiak had an aisle out taking down what Columbus stood for.  The problem was that the list was long with no real answer of WHAT we are!!

But I was at the Water and Light Board the other day and they were talking about the water tower that will be painted next summer and being an artsy kind of guy I asked what was going to be on it!

They showed me and my head spun!  POW!  THERE IT IS!!  Our brand (at least in my mind).

"Discover Columbus".

Now we have said that a few times but never SERIOUSLY!   But wait - there's more.

"Discover Columbus" is just the beginning.  We have no real logo so on a logo include the things that show what we are and then underneath "Discover Columbus"

"Celebrating Small Town America"

"Celebrating Small Town America"  sells a feeling, not a product and that is how you attract people.


That is what we are, that is why people move here!  We CELEBRATE our smallness.  We are NOT Sun Prairie, the big headed child that people dislike all of a sudden.  We are a small town with small town values where everybody knows everybody (that is good OR bad ).

Most of the people I know in Columbus moved here because we were a small community.

Just thinking out loud.  I have more but I had to work today and don't have my notes!  :-)