Former Town of Ellington Councilwoman Tamara Miles led the Town’s Recreation Committee efforts to secure an Arbor Day grant from the NYSUFC and to host a lively Arbor Day celebration on April 30, 2016.
First, the Jamestown Audubon Society presented “Cavity Nesting Birds,” a talk connecting birds to native trees in the area. Then, DEC Forester Jeff Brockelbank led the community in a proper tree planting demo, and helped the residents plant a Kentucky coffeetree (Cladrastis kentukea) and two redbuds (Cercis canadensis). He also taught them about young tree pruning and proper mulching techniques. Master Gardener Carol Lorenc then presented on native plants and how to avoid invasive plants. All members of the Town Board were present to hand out native tree seedlings to community members.
Members of the Tree Board had decided to use half the NYSUFC grant for the Arbor Day and the other half to contract a local forestry company to help the Town maintain existing trees and advise on future plantings.
Former Councilwoman Miles wrote, “Without this grant, working towards becoming a Tree City USA would not have been possible. It is through grants like this that people become motivated … and continue to see how we can together create sustainable urban forestry programs in our towns across the country. The Town of Ellington thanks you for offering this unique opportunity and we look forward to reading about and participating in events you hold in the future.”
Participants commented afterwards on how well organized the day was, and how much the children enjoyed the hands-on nature of the program.