Village of Otisville Trustee and Park Commissioner Ike Palmer shared this account of his community’s planting and celebration in Veterans Memorial Park, funded in part by a NYSUFC Arbor Day grant.
Ike Palmer: First of all, I would like to thank the members of the NYSUFC Arbor Day Grant Committee for this generous grant and the opportunities it has afforded us for our Arbor Day event. Two new trees funded by the Council were planted: an ‘October Glory’ red maple and ‘Frans Fontaine’ European hornbeam. A blue spruce was donated by Rick and Linda Zgrodek in honor of the Otisville/Mount Hope Seniors. It’s Rick and Linda’s hope that the blue spruce will come to be used as the Village Christmas tree. Despite the dry summer, all three trees are faring well.
The program flyers that we used to promote the event were created and donated by our local Country Garden Club. These programs were posted and distributed throughout our local businesses. The event was also promoted, before and after, on our Village website home page, courtesy of our Village clerk.
Country Garden Club President Gerda Krogslund did another wonderful job organizing the program for us. She was the master of ceremony for the event and handled all of the introductions. We had several local officials in attendance: Town of Mount Hope Supervisor Chad Volpe, Town of Mount Hope Councilman Brian Carey, Town of Mount Hope Tax Collector Linda Zgrodek, Village of Otisville Deputy Mayor Diane Loeven, and Village of Otisville Clerk Christine DiPoalo. Also in attendance were many Country Garden Club members, several senior citizens, and an array of other local residents.
With the extra money in our Arbor Day event budget this year and the additional improvements we were able to achieve because of this grant, everyone was talking about the noticeable differences in the park. The new trees were larger and better quality; mulch is now in place. Trees are now identified with plant markers and dedication placards. The park just presents itself in a whole new light with all the trees now being mulched. It has raised everyone’s awareness to a new level and I think we are all excited about moving forward.
After our presentation in the park, concluding with the ceremonial shoveling of the dirt (the Village of Otisville DPW under the supervision of Frank Valentino planted the trees the day before), everyone was invited to the Village Hall for refreshments, prepared by Maureen and Ken Coppola, members of the Celebrations Committee. This part of the event was also well attended and it wasn’t long before conversation steered to next year’s event.
If success is measured by the feedback that we have received, then this was a very successful event for us. We have and continue to receive compliments on the changes that we have made. We will continue to partner with our local Country Garden Club to raise awareness and grow our annual Arbor Day event, which helps bring our small community even closer.