The rolling loss of Lake Geneva’s downtown trees.
According to Tom Earle, the head of Public Works in the City of Lake Geneva, the city lost about seventeen trees over the past few months.  Those trees, for the most part, were planted only four or five years ago.  They were just reaching early maturity and beauty.  Now, along almost all of the vital downtown stretch of Main Street, there are ‘twigs’ sprouting up from the round grated areas of the sidewalks set up to hold the trees and (supposedly) protect them.  The old trees are gone and the new ones, Cleveland Flowering Pear trees, have replaced them.  The GSR likes to refer to these small trees as twigs.

The Business Improvement District (the BID) held a meeting last Wednesday.  At that meeting, the board discussed putting Christmas Tree lights on all the trees in town instead of decorating the concrete poles in the downtown area.  The city’s arbor expert, working out of the Public Works Department, indicated that the smaller trees, the only trees now lining Main Street now, would not do well if they were strung with lights.  It would appear, until the BID board reads this Geneva Shore Report, that the board is unaware of the very small size of these new trees.  What happened, in almost all of Southern Wisconsin, not just Lake Geneva, to the consideration of ambiance and local beauty?

The small but meaningful little angel that is supposed to sit atop the Driehaus Fountain in front of the Riviera.
What happened?  Earlier in the year, and once again for about the fifth time, some drunken younger kids vandalized the fountain, probably having closed down Fat Cats nearby on Broad Street.  The boys were caught, of course (the park is under police video surveillance at all times), the statue was sent out for repairs, and then the wait for its return began.  The statue’s not a big deal.  It’s only about three feet high and the water surging up from the main fountain barely touches it, but it gives a special kind of ‘glow’ to the whole pacified park effect.  The angel seems to transmit a message of relaxation and quiet contemplation, something the downtown, and the rest of the nation needs at any given time.

The statue was supposed to be finished, returned, and remounted back in July, but has not turned up yet.   It’s presumed that the statue did indeed come back from the Milwaukee foundry where it was to be repaired, but the season is so close to being over that what’s the point of installing it up on top of the fountain when the whole thing’s going under a canvas cover in only a few weeks’ time?  We’ll give a nod to Tom Earle, head of Public Works, on this one.


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