This past Wednesday the USDA issued a press release announcing $89 million for projects across the US, including Worcester. The $4.5 million will be used to plant trees around the Central Massachusetts areas that were affected by the Asian Longhorned Beetle infestation that has taken many trees in the Worcester area.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act covers a wide range of initiatives. The USDA describes it as:
an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
This is great news for since the Telegram reported that around 25000 trees were taken down as a result of the Asian Longhorned beetle. The article also reported that jobs will come out of this since the DCR will need about 20 full-time people to execute this 2 year project.
Many might not have been aware that Governor Patrick declared August to be Asian Long Horned Beetle Awareness month. This highlights how important this issue is not just to the Worcester area but all of Massachusetts. I found a public service announcement about the Asian Longhorned beetle on Youtube. It is on the bottom of this post. The video points out how to recognize the beetle and the holes it creates in trees. If we are going to invest millions of dollars to replant trees it is critical that we not let them get infested again.
NECN is reporting testing of a pesticide that may help but is also controversial.