Freeville’s First-Ever Arbor Day Planting Event

Freeville community members plant their first tree, a swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), at their first-ever Arbor Day event. Photos Courtesy Village of Freeville

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). 

Mayor David Fogel reads the “Proclamation for the Establishment of a Village Tree-Planting Program in Freeville”

The event commenced with a brief introduction by Freeville Mayor David Fogel, who gave a brief summary of the NYSUFC Arbor Day Grant application process and award. One of our tree committee members was able to obtain a nice quantity of bare root seedlings to give away, and another member handed out information on tree planting and tree and urban forest benefits.

Just prior to the planting, Mayor Fogel read the program proclamation (see below). Attendees were invited to help complete the planting by throwing soil into the hole and watering the tree, and a regular watering schedule was put in place shortly after the event.

“Mudding in” the swamp white oak at Freeville’s Groton Ave Park.

A tree committee debrief yielded some ideas to better promote the next event, a much larger fall planting of 10-20 bare root trees, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 2018. We are currently finalizing tree species selection and identifying planting sites for the event in consultation with our adviser, Ithaca City Forester Jeanne Grace, who will place the bare root order for us. Our Council grant funds will support this fall planting.

Thank you to the Council for selecting the Village of Freeville for this Arbor Day award, which we foresee as the beginning of an active program to enhance our village by regular plantings of trees. —Tom Cavataio

Freeville’s 2018 Arbor Days (fall and spring plantings) herald a new chapter in the community’s commitment to its urban forest.

Proclamation for the Establishment of a Village Tree-Planting Program in Freeville

WHEREAS residents of the Village of Freeville applied to the New York State Urban Forestry Council for a 2018 Arbor Day Program Grant;

WHEREAS the Board of Trustees of the Village passed a resolution approving and endorsing the application;

WHEREAS the application was successful, with a grant of $1,000 awarded to the Village by the Council in March of this year;

WHEREAS the terms of the grant require that recipients stage a tree-planting event in honor of Arbor Day 2018 and that they establish an ongoing tree-planting program in their municipality;

WHEREAS those involved in the application process took the initiative to form a committee for the purpose of planning and organizing the first of what we expect will be many annual tree-planting events in the Village in honor of Arbor Day;

and WHEREAS the committee duly carried out that first planting here in Groton Avenue Park on this 12th day of May in the year 2018;

NOW THEREFORE do I proclaim May 12th, 2018, to be Arbor Day Tree-Planting Day in Freeville, and that an official tree-planting program is now established in the Village, to be administered by a standing committee composed of any and all citizens interested in enhancing the beauty of public spaces in our fair village, their efforts to be undertaken with the support and encouragement of the Village of Freeville Board of Trustees.

David Fogel 
Mayor, Village of Freeville







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