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    Thursday, July 25, 2024

    Stonington planting 161 trees in season-long celebration of Earth and Arbor days

    Stonington ― The town is celebrating Earth and Arbor Days all spring long, thanks to the efforts of the Stonington Beautification Committee in collaboration with the Department of Public Works, and various community partners.

    “We could not have done this, to plant 161 trees between now and this fall, without this amazing partnership and collaboration with all departments. I am just blown away by how everyone has come together, knowing the importance of getting this done,” said Julie Holland, the secretary of the Beautification Committee.

    The initiative, made possible by the collective efforts of community organizations, volunteers, students, and town employees, aimed to address the loss of approximately 200 trees in recent years by replacing them with new saplings.

    Holland said the trees had been lost due to a variety of factors including disease, age or storm damage. Some trees were simply planted in the wrong place and over the years had begun to cause property damage like buckling sidewalks.

    Holland said that she was not sure about the exact total spent on the project because funding came from a variety of sources including a variety of committee fundraising efforts, the town budget and grants totaling $7,500 from Breezeline Communication, the Stonington Rotary Club and the Stonington Garden Club.

    Last Thursday, public works employees were planting three varieties of maple trees, two of each type, funded by the Stonington Garden Club, along Spellman Drive by the girls’ high school soccer field.

    “There is no shade on the soccer field, so these will be a wonderful addition for spectators,” Carole Nossek, co-chair of the Beautification Committee said Thursday.

    Nossek said community involvement was integral to the project.

    This spring, volunteers from Davis Standard helped plant 50 Blue Spruce saplings at the Water Pollution Control Authority property on Mary Hall Road, and a neighbor, who saw the work underway, offered to water them all spring and summer.

    High school students also pitched in to plant 50 pine saplings behind the high school near the west pavilion of Spellman Park which will eventually create a screen for the train tracks.

    The initiative has also seen trees planted in various neighborhoods around town.

    Nossek said the trees will provide numerous benefits. In addition to being good for the environment and reducing evaporation, water run-off and energy costs, the trees provide a habitat for wildlife and add beauty to the town, especially in the fall when the trees, with names like October Glory, begin to change color.

    “We’re pretty excited about this. We have a long way to go, but I hope we can get the support from our community to really escalate this next year,” said Holland.

    Anyone interested in volunteering or making donations to the Stonington Beautification Committee Tree Fund should email stoningtonbeautification@stonington-ct.gov or send contributions to 166 S. Broad St, Pawcatuck, CT 06379.

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