Reported by Michael DeMarco, Planner for the City of Watertown and ISA Certified Arborist
October 20, 2018 marked the City of Watertown’s 17th Annual Fall Tree Planting event co-sponsored by the City and Tree Watertown, the City’s street tree advisory board. This year’s event was held at Cosgrove–Sherman St. Park. Historically, this large green space has been used as a sanitary and stormwater sewer corridor, but it is technically categorized as a municipal park.
Gloversville, New York, located in Fulton County halfway between Albany and Utica, was a recipient of a 2018 NYSUFC Arbor Day Grant. These grants are meant to kick-start community and urban forestry programs. Over the course of three events held in April, May, and June, 2018, the Gloversville Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Corporation (GHNIC) planted twelve trees in celebration of Arbor Day. Through these events, more than two dozen community members were involved, the public learned more about urban forestry through four stories in local newspapers, and community members expressed interest in forming an urban forestry committee.
Since originally applying for the $1000 grant, the City’s tree planting project underwent two significant shifts. The first was a shift in location. Though they had originally sought to plant trees along land-banked parcels, GHNIC folks later decided that planting trees in the “asphalt desert” that surrounds the Gloversville Farmers Market Pavilion in the heart of downtown was a better way to showcase the benefits of trees in a highly visible part of the city.
Freeville Village Planning Board and Tree Committee Member Tom Cavataio provided this report on Freeville’s first-ever Arbor Day planting with the help of a $1000 NYSUFC grant. Freeville (pop. ~ 520) is located in Tompkins County, east of Ithaca.
The newly formed Freeville Tree Committee held a successful Arbor Day tree planting event on May 12, 2018 with the planting of a swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) at the Village of Freeville’s Groton Ave Park. The tree was donated to the program by Paul Paradine, a local NYSEG employee and new member of our tree committee.
A great deal of committee activity preceded the event, with signage being created, announcements in the local papers and at the local elementary school, and a last-minute decision on a one-hour delay the morning of the event (the forecast was for rain, but we were still able to carry off the event by delaying it for an hour).
With the help of a grant from the Council, the Town of North Collins (pop. approx 3600) in Erie County celebrated its first-ever Arbor Day on April 27. Kindergartners read tree tributes and helped plant two swamp white oaks (Quercus bicolor) in the Marion J. Fricano Town Park at the future Veterans Tribute site. North Collins Town Supervisor John Tobia spoke at the event about the origins of Arbor Day.
In addition to kindergartners and their teachers, the event was attended by Town Board Councilwoman Ellen Mathis, Town Clerk Lynn DiVencenzo, the Veterans Tribute Committee, and Town Forestry Committee Chair Wes Awald, whom Tobia thanked for his special effort getting this Arbor Day celebration organized.
Bob Sympson of Nassau County is a volunteer tree planting enthusiast, NYSUFC member, and member of the Region 1 ReLeaf Committee. He prepared opening remarks for the County’s April 26, 2018 Arbor Day observance and tree planting, notably attended by County Executive Laura Curran.
Thank you to Town of Plattsburgh Planning Technician Malana Tamer for providing this report.
The Town of Plattsburgh (population app 12,000) is located in Clinton County in the northeastern part of New York State, approximately 65 miles south of Montreal, Canada and on the western shore of Lake Champlain. The Town of Plattsburgh surrounds the separate and more populous City of Plattsburgh.
With the help of a $400 Arbor Day grant through NYSUFC, the Town of Plattsburgh purchased two river birch trees, which were planted at the Cadyville Town Beach on Arbor Day, April 27, 2018. The Town beach provides public access to the Saranac River with a lifeguard patrolled beach and non-motorized boat access. In summer months, the beach provides river access to approximately 1,098 users per month. The two new trees will provide erosion control and shade for beach users.
From Brian Skinner, Council Treasurer and Arbor Day Grant Program Chair
The NYS Urban Forestry Council Arbor Day Grant Program Committee, in conjunction with the NYSDEC, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 grants. There was significant competition this year, with 26 applications from across New York State submitted and 13 communities eventually selected to receive grants of $400-$1,000 to conduct a first-time community celebration of Arbor Day.
The Villages of Albion, Bainbridge, Freeville, Lima, and Liverpool; the Towns of East Bloomfield, Hastings, New Windsor, North Collins, and Plattsburgh; and the cities of Gloversville and Sherrill were selected to receive grants in support of new Arbor Day programs as presented and described in their applications. Congrats to these communities!
Plantings Support Pollinators and Improve Habitats for Wildlife
More than 50 species of trees and shrubs from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced last month.
“Planting trees and shrubs not only enhances properties, it also provides positive environmental benefits that can be accomplished with minimal time and money and requires only basic skills,” Commissioner Seggos said. “New seedlings improve wildlife habitat and air and water quality in people’s backyards. And DEC foresters are always available to give you the best advice on what to plant.”
Spruces, pines, shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are among the 50 species available from the State’s Saratoga Tree Nursery. The sale provides low-cost, native tree and shrub seedlings from New York seed sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state’s environment for future generations. Mixed species packets are also available. Enhancing habitat in your backyard is made easy with packets of trees and shrubs for your specific planting goals including enhancement of ruffed grouse habitat, Long Island habitat, and riparian and streamside habitat. In addition, packets include flowering species that attract pollinators.
From Clare Evelyn Carney, CCE Onondaga Urban Forestry Educator:
The Save the Rain (STR) Tree Planting Program had a wonderful year of planting street trees throughout the City of Syracuse. In 2017, over 1,000 trees were planted through the collaborative efforts of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, the City of Syracuse Parks Department, and the Onondaga Earth Corps. In the fall, Save the Rain team members participated in a neighborhood restoration project and two tree planting events in which volunteers engaged with their communities. The program is a component of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s award-winning stormwater management program, Save the Rain.
On September 14th, 2017 the STR team came together to support the annual Home HeadQuarters Block Blitz. It was a wonderful opportunity to partner with other organizations working to rejuvenate our communities. The Block Blitz is a volunteer event focused on the revitalization of homes in Syracuse, with interventions such as painting, landscaping, cleanups, and structural restoration. As part of the landscape renewal, the STR crew planted 13 trees at properties along West Bordon Ave, West Beard Ave, Landon Ave, and Midland Ave of Syracuse.