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March 4, 2013

Uprooting memories

Dogtown native saddened by loss of honey locust in Byfield Center

(Continued)

But Bear said that because the site has to be reconfigured into a T-intersection, no more trees can be planted there.

The safety changes are required if the town wants to access much-needed federal and state funding for road improvements, he said.

The town tapped state Chapter 90 funds to hire HSH to develop a 25 percent design package for the recommended improvements. Several public meetings were held during the design process, and the preliminary design plan was completed in February 2012, Taylor said. The plan is available for public review in the Planning Board office at Town Hall.

While the town is poised to submit a Chapter 90 request for funds to do the work, Taylor said “nothing is going to happen in the immediate future.” A MassWorks grant that the town applied for last September was not approved, she said.

Although Bear understands Davis’ disappointment, he said that more residents seek to plant trees on town property than can be accommodated. Most recently, selectmen have grappled over if and where to plant an evergreen donated for the Upper Green by Patti Ross Webster in memory of her late father, David Ross.

It’s not that Bear doesn’t have a sentimental attachment to the Dogtown tree either. The 60-year-old Bear admitted he was “one of those Dogtown kids” who swung on the limbs of the Moody Street Tree while waiting for the school bus all those year ago.

But did he ever play hooky by dangling up in the treetops?

“I plead the Fifth,” he responded.

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