375 Trees for 375th Anniversary

The Guilford Conservation Commission is kicking off the town's 375th Anniversary Celebration a little early, taking part in a 375 Trees initiative beginning next week.

Kicking off on Arbor Day on Friday, April 26, the commission's plan is to give away 375 white oak seedlings to 375 Guilford families, encouraging residents to plant trees to honor the town's birthday.

To start the program off, a ceremonial tree will be planted at the Henry Whitfield State Museum at 10 a.m. on April 26.

"Noelle King, the project leader, has been working very closely with the Henry Whitfield Museum to get permission to start planting on the beautiful lawn. The first tree is going to be somewhere on the property of the museum for the ceremonials first tree planting," said Guilford Conservation Commission Public Relations Chair Laura Collins.

Following the ceremony, residents are invited to the Community Center from 3 to 6 p.m. to pick up a tree of their own and instructions on its care. The commission's goal is to have 375 families participate in the planting.

Connecticut forester Rachael Holmes and Scott Adams of the Connecticut Urban Forest Council will be on site answering any questions residents have and offering input on proper planting practices, tree care, and the nurturing of the trees.

Collins said she is hoping lots of residents show up on Arbor Day to pick up their seedlings and participate in the unique program, but in case they can't make it due to prior engagements, seedlings will be available on Saturday, May 4 at the Henry Whitfield State Museum.

To keep the theme going with the town's anniversary festivities, the Conservation Commission is hoping to get a small group of participants to commit to showing the progress of the plantings throughout the coming months.

"We are looking for a handful of people to commit to letting us follow up on the trees. We are thinking about having a video documentary so that we can track the progress?[We're] asking some people if they don't mind if we stop by periodically to see how the trees are doing," Collins explained.

For more information about the event and the 375 Trees program, contact Collins at 203-453-5703.

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