On May 6, the Village of Champlain on the west shore of Lake Champlain in Clinton County held its first-ever Arbor Day Celebration with financial assistance from the NYSUFC. The Celebration kicked off a wave of the Village’s revitalization efforts centering on the playground, pavilion, basketball courts, and Village green. Five maple trees were planted on the Champlain Playground with the help of Girl Scouts and other volunteers. Community members participated in a Tree ID walk and heard from the high school outdoors club; the Girl Scouts read nature poetry; and children participated in arts and crafts in the nearby Champlain Meeting House. For a first-ever Arbor Day Celebration, it was very extensive!
NY Assemblyman Billy Jones attended as did Champlain Mayor Greg Martin, Town Council members, and the Village Board of Trustees. Trustee Janet McFetridge says, “The enthusiasm and excitement for this first step in our revitalization efforts was heartwarming to see. After we planted the maple trees, residents asked when we could plant more.”
A Champlain Tree Committee has been established to pursue this goal of more community trees. McFetridge says, “The commitment to plant more trees is one the Village Board of Trustees takes seriously. Our Arbor Day Celebration was just the beginning of a Village reforestation effort.” The Council wishes Champlain all the best on their budding urban forestry program and hopes to see some representatives from the Village at the July 2017 ReLeaf Conference in NYC. ReLeaf is an invaluable resource for communities both established in and new to having a urban and community forestry program.