Dear Chautauqua Property Owners and Community Members,

Now that we are snow-free, I’d like to highlight a spring project in Miller Park that involves tree maintenance and limited removal. As background, Chautauqua Institution has implemented an overall drainage management plan detailing projects that help us manage stormwater runoff responsibly. The South End Ravine and Chautauqua Golf Club drainage work and numerous rain garden and buffer zone plantings were derived from this plan. In 2013, the final part of the drainage management plan, the Sustainable Shoreline Action Plan, was finalized. Last year's shoreline projects included the rain garden at Children’s Beach, establishing several “no mow” zones, and buffer zone plantings at the Pier Building and along Fair Point, including the planting of three large willows. Currently, the Institution is completing the Palestine Park wetlands/shoreline project and the stormwater management park across from Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

The Sustainable Shoreline Action Plan also included a review of Miller Park’s overall condition from the shoreline to Simpson Avenue, part which was an assessment of the health of the park’s tree population. This fall, Chautauqua Institution staff worked with representatives from Forecon, the nationally recognized professional forestry management firm based in Falconer, N.Y., to complete an inventory and assessment of trees in the Miller Park area. Forecon’s report found that these trees are capable of intercepting about 500,000 gallons of water annually, “making an important contribution to stormwater interception and filtering for the Institution and, ultimately, Chautauqua Lake." Based on Forecon’s assessment, contractors will complete the following work this spring:

  • 8 trees will be removed.
  • 57 trees will be pruned.
  • 3 trees will require maintenance of existing cable supports.

Beginning today, all 68 trees are marked with colored ribbons indicating the type of work required. The work is now out for bid and is expected to be completed by Memorial Day. Forecon representatives and Chautauqua Grounds and Gardens staff will monitor the entire process. This fall, lumber from removed trees will be used in the construction of a new natural playground in Miller Park, and CHQ staff will replace the removed trees.

We appreciate the community’s support and understanding of these ongoing efforts.


Jordan Steves
Director of Communications
Chautauqua Institution
office 716.357.6434