Thanks to the legwork and support of engaged residents, one of the corners of our neighborhood that has become a priority for the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council is the Maple Street area — specifically, the two-block stretch where it curves and splits into a residential/arterial street.
The oddly shaped (shoestring-thin in the middle, bulbed at either end) piece of land that divides the residential stretch from the arterial is a problem for a number of reasons. It’s untended and generates dust. It doesn’t offer a contiguous pedestrian pathway. It is a frequent accident site on account of speeding and adverse weather conditions. And it’s ugly as sin.
To start addressing some of those problems immediately, we’ve recently arranged to have street trees planted on the strip. The proposed locations and tree varieties (e.g., ponderosa pine, lilac, wireless Zelkova, tuliptree) are pictured below. These will help root some of the dust and provide a natural sound and sight buffer between traffic and the nearby homes.
The next step will be to have some native grasses or flowers planted and sidewalks installed. Later we’d like to see a pedestrian crosswalk across Maple and Ash in line with Euclid. This is a tricky spot, though, so we have met with city engineers and are working with them to figure out the optimal solution for vehicles, residents and pedestrians.
It’s taken the involvement of quite a few organizations and individuals just to get this far: Maple Street residents, the EGNC, Spokane Urban Forestry, the city traffic department and the Office of Neighborhood Services. The EGNC alone is contributing about $3500 from its Community Development Block Grant street-tree fund to help things along. The reassuring news is that, ever since the project gathered steam, it has seen very rapid progress.
As things stand, the site will be prepped for planting on April 17 or 18, and then the trees will be planted by neighborhood volunteers on Saturday, April 19 under the supervision of a certified arborist. This will be kinda sorta part of the wider Spokane Gives initiative.
If you’re interested in learning more about this neighborhood improvement or you’d like to lend a hand during tree planting, please leave a comment below or attend the next Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting on Wednesday, April 9. And we not only welcome but encourage similar proposals from residents all over Emerson-Garfield.