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Shade Tree Commission Finally Comes Together

Group is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.

The Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Multi-municipal Shade Tree Commission has been finalized.

Brentwood Borough, as was expected on Tuesday night, joined the commission that already included and boroughs, according to The Penn State Center, of Pittsburgh, which was working alongside to form the group.

The B-B-W Commission is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.

"We are thrilled about this initiative and look to this as a model for other municipal clusters to explore a collaborative effort to enhance our urban trees," said Dr. Deno De Ciantis, director of The Penn State Center. "These actions improve our air quality, mitigate storm water events and enhance the livability of our communities."

In June 2011, representatives from The Penn State Center approached , the executive director of EDS, with the intent to establish the multi-municipal . The center provided consultation to the involved municipalities' officials to develop the joint commission by means of targeted discussions; provision of templates and language for ordinances; technical details; organizational structure; and consultation for a volunteer component.

EDS' environmental committee then focused on the commission over the course of several months and drafted an inter-governmental agreement that created a Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Multi-municipal Shade Tree District Ordinance.

Presentations were made to each of the three boroughs' councils for discussion and final adoption. Each municipality then established its own ordinance in collaboration with the overall Shade Tree District that encompasses all three jurisdictions.

"It has been an absolute pleasure working with the mayors, councilmembers and residents of these three communities," Jones said. "There is a true commitment to improving our environment while working together across municipal boundaries."

EDS, which includes Baldwin, Whitehall, Brentwood and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Carrick and Overbrook, is a multi-municipal planning group for the Route 51 corridor.

The Shade Tree Commission will take on the task of restoring and maintaining Baldwin, Whitehall and Brentwood's tree populations, enabling each municipality to take advantage of the benefits that trees provide.

The Penn State Center's mission is to extend the expertise of Penn State University to enhance the quality of life, economic vitality and community development of the greater Pittsburgh area.

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