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Ferguson Township Adds New Leaf to Public Works Branch

by on July 12, 2015 10:55 PM

They've got lots of trees in Ferguson Township -- thousands and thousands of them.

What the township hasn't had is somebody to make sure all of those trees are kept healthy -- and don't pose safety hazards. 

That is there wasn't anyone until Lance King entered the picture.

King officially became Ferguson Township's first arborist when he was hired on July 1st. King says he spent a lot of time working on trees during a 10 year stint as a maintenance foreman for the Borough of State College.

"I'm very excited to be working here," he says. "It's going to be a very busy time for a while but I'm going to have fun doing this.

King's passion for trees began at an early age.

"I've always been in love with the outdoors so I took interest in environmental science in high school and continued that path through college," says King. "With my last job at State College and where I am now I can truly say that I'm doing what I love."

In his new role King will be in charge of repairing trees, preparing planting plans for the township and training and supervising landscape laborers. He will oversee both the administrative and functional aspects of the township's tree program.

"I have been working with trees all my career," says King. "I feel like I can do a good job working with the Township's Tree Commission."

According to David Modricker, Ferguson Township's director of public works, having a full time arborist will also help when residents call in about the tree issues.

"There is an increased need to manage our urban forests," says Modricker. "We have close to 4,800 tress along the streets and hundreds more that need attention."

Modricker wants the community to be excited about King's hiring because of his plans for the residents of Ferguson.

"King wants to be involved in the community aspect of the job as well." Says Modricker. "He wants to get people involved in Arbor Day and Earth Day."

With this year's Arbor Day and Earth Day already in the books King is looking to next year and hopes to start up lots of events to get the community involved in nature and the township's parks.

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Abhar Shah is an intern with StateCollege.com. A senior broadcast journalism major at Penn State University Shah is part of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. Abhar is also involved with THON and the Penn State Cricket team.
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