With the aid of an Arbor Day grant administered by the NYSUFC, the Town of Grand Island in Erie County held its first-ever Arbor Day Celebration on April 29, 2017. About 40 people attended, including Girl Scout Daisies and Brownies. Senior Girl Scout Gillian Worrall (second from left in front row of above pic) played a key role in organizing this Arbor Day celebration and in educating the community at large about Emerald Ash Borer, which has taken its toll on Grand Island.
The celebration included the planting of five trees on the Town Commons to replace ash trees that are dying there. To the town Conservation Advisory Board’s credit, they chose five different species—white oak, ‘Heritage’ river birch, ‘Red Sunset’ maple, ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple, and swamp white oak. This diverse palette will be more resilient than a monoculture, so kudos to them!
The Town’s Arbor Day Celebration included litter pick up, a talk by Gillian, songs, and a tree giveaway of 150 seedlings (6-10 inches tall) that Gillian coordinated. Folks in attendance could sign up for the Tree Steward training that Cornell Cooperative Extension will be offering in Erie County in the fall (and yes, Gillian signed up!)
Heavy rains came down as the tree planting got underway, so the Town had to wait to plant all the trees over the course of the very wet spring.
Conversation Advisory Board Chair Diane Evans says, “We are grateful for the impetus this has provided to encourage our civic groups to donate trees in the future, for the establishment of a tree committee—which is in the recruitment stage—and for adding more green to our Island. Thank you so much, NYSUFC!”