The Village of Hempstead Arbor Day Celebration took place on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at the Village of Hempstead Park, Denton Green located on James A. Garner Way in Hempstead, New York. The Arbor Day event provided community members and students an opportunity to become involved in improving the environment.

The celebration consisted of planting three B&B (balled-and-burlapped) swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) trees, which were funded largely by a NYS Urban Forestry Council (NYSUFC) Quick Start Grant in the Village of Hempstead’s efforts to become a Tree City USA community. The cost for the three trees was $1,125. Swamp white oaks were selected after consulting with Andrew Hillman, NYSUFC Past President and current Quick Start Grant Committee member.

The Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency (CDA) and the Village of Hempstead Department of Public Works coordinated with Matthew Viglucci, Program Specialist of Urban & Community Forestry for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, regarding the tree plantings and aftercare.

In addition, Michael Fiorentino, Natural Resource Program Team Leader/Co-Director for Long Island Regional Clean Energy Hub and Arianna West, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County, met with the CDA to discuss the tree selection and maintenance as well as the planting locations. Vincent Drzewucki, Urban Forestry and Horticulture Educator from CCE Nassau County discussed the event plans and aftercare with the Village staff.

At the Arbor Day celebration, the Village of Hempstead Mayor, Waylyn Hobbs Jr., spoke about the importance of promoting tree conservation in the Village of Hempstead. The Village Trustees along with the Mayor emphasized the importance of green initiatives. The Mayor presented a signed Arbor Day Proclamation at the Village of Hempstead Arbor Day Celebration. The Village CDA Commissioner spoke to the students about the NYSUFC Quick Start Grant and the Village’s efforts to become a designated Tree City USA Community.

The Inc. Village of Hempstead partnered with the Hempstead Union Free School District, Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) of Nassau County Community Action Program, and the Adelphi University STEP/LPP Program. Sabita Nayak, Executive Director of the Adelphi University STEP/LPP Programs highlighted the reasons trees are an important part of life. Mateo Flores, Executive Director of EOC Community Action Program, along with James Clark, Assistant Superintendent of Hempstead Union Free School District, emphasized the importance of improving our neighborhood environment.

The Village of Hempstead Arbor Day Celebration consisted of a total of forty-six K-12 students, along with many parents and local school teachers and administrators. There were twenty student participants from the Hempstead School District. Adelphi University STEP and LPP group consisted of twenty student participants from Hempstead, Freeport, Valley Stream, West Hempstead, and Westbury school districts. The EOC Community Action Program had six student volunteers. Flowers, mulch, and topsoil were provided by Adelphi University for the event. 🌳