This is not the cost-saving measure that will solve all of our fiscal woes. But I do think it speaks to a way of how we should think about doing things in Madison during harder economic times.
Today as I was driving on John Nolen Drive there were some workers placing mulch around the trees in the median. The mulch is a good idea as it allows water retention, and also beautifies the street. I am all in favor of mulching!
But the mulch was clearly commercial as it was that rich reddish color, and the work probably contracted out by the city.
Not a mile from where the workers placed commercial mulch was the city site where christmas trees and other brush is ground into massive piles waiting to be used by residents of the city. It is from these piles that city trucks distribute mulch to neighborhood parks for citizens to get some for their yards….at no cost.
The City of Madison could just as easily have used the ground free mulch from the city to be placed around the trees on the streets, such as John Nolen.
I can vouch for the city mulch as James and I had three pick-up truck loads unloaded on our driveway for the flower beds about three weeks ago. We do this every spring. The rich pine smell makes for positive comments from those that walk by, and I can attest to the lasting quality of it through the fall.
I know that this cost saving idea is but a drop in the fiscal concerns of this city, and yet every dollar counts when Governor Walker is seeking ways to screw Madison.