Be an Angel: Tree plantings a harbinger of spring

In the middle of February, we long to see that first robin at McCook Park, the first pussy willow bud at the inner harbor walkway to Cini Park, and the first crocus peeking from the snow at the gardens at the Hole-in-the-Wall. Now, participants can contribute to these signs of spring with some new plantings.

The Promise of Tomorrow’s Trees, an East Lyme Public Trust Foundation commemorative tree program that dates to 2011, makes available to the public trees to be placed in public spaces in East Lyme. This project helps raise funds for the support of the Niantic Bay Boardwalk and other projects of the foundation. To date, 38 trees have been planted at Cini Park, McCook Park, Bridebrook Park, the Smith-Harris House, East Lyme Public Library and Town Hall. This year, two new areas of town will be added in co-operation with Chris Lund, director of facilities for the East Lyme Board of Education: Flanders Elementary School and the Niantic Center Elementary School.

During recent school renovations, the facilities department had to remove a number of trees at Niantic Center along Pattagansett Road. In addition, at Flanders School, a number of diseased ornamental cherry and apple trees had to be removed from the inner courtyard.

Lund thought that six to seven dogwood trees would be very effective at the Flanders School courtyard. At Niantic Center School, he would like to plant a copper beech in the area to the right of the side entrance on Pattagansett. He also has chosen three red oaks to replace the trees that had to be removed.

A contribution of $600 will cover the cost of a tree, the planting, an 8- by 4-inch plaque, a base and a water bag to assist in the stabilization of the tree. Planting will take place this spring.

Application forms will be available at: the town clerk’s office at Town Hall; East Lyme Parks and Recreation, the library and the Book Barn. They also can be found on the trust web-site:

June Hoye is the chairperson for the project in partnership with Dave Putnam, the director of Parks and Recreation.

Be an Angel is a regular feature in The Times. To contribute, email


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