by Kevin Dicciani

Laurel Hill Gardens, the local landscape and garden firm, will kickoff the Re-Tree the Avenue program this fall by planting approximately 12 trees along the Avenue.

Larry McEwen, vice president for the Chestnut Hill Community Association’s Physical Division, made the announcement at the CHCA’s Nov. 20 board meeting and noted that the remainder of the trees will be planted in the spring.

The program will see more than 50 trees planted along Germantown Avenue and portions of Bethlehem Pike. Branches, trees and tree wells can be adopted for a range of set prices ($150, $500 and $1500, respectively) – each adoption coming with a token of gratitude, such as having your name added to donor list, an individual honorarium plaque or a cobblestone marker.

McEwen also mentioned that the Philadelphia Streets Department was currently working with the Development Review Committee to address the reconstruction of Bells Mill Road between Germantown and Stenton avenues.

Neighbors living around the area proposed the reconstruction, McEwen said. The goal is to widen the streets, something that McEwen said was “much needed.”

The PSD will discuss the reconstruction at the Land Use, Planning and Zoning meeting on Jan. 8 at 8 p.m.

CHCA, Weavers Way link

Laura Lucas, vice president for the CHCA’s Operations Division, announced that the community association and Weavers Way may form a loose partnership in which members of Weavers Way can fulfill their membership requirements by volunteering their time and effort to CHCA events.

Lucas said the relationship is a “cross-pollination” between two organizations that offer memberships.

“It’s really about knitting together the community,” Lucas said.

DCED grant

The Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District requested that the board contribute financially to a $25,000 Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development matching grant.

The DCED matching grant is given to organizations to develop and improve their communities through the implementation of various projects. The BID has sought out various local groups – such as the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, the Parking Foundation, the Garden District Fund, the Green Space Initiative and the Chestnut Hill Community Fund – to raise the money needed to match the DCED grant.

So far the Green Space Initiative has contributed about $15,000 worth of work it has already completed, which will be factored into the grant.

A motion was put on the table for the CHCA to give the BID $2,000, less than the $4,000 it originally requested. The vote passed unanimously.

In attendance was Martha Sharkey, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business Association, the BID and the Parking Foundation, who said how important it was for all the community’s organizations to work together.

“We’re all working towards the same goal of having a thriving Chestnut Hill community,” Sharkey said. “Whether it be the residential side or the business side, we’re all working hard together to continue to grow and build our community. It’s a true collaboration.”