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Norwalk photos: Planting trees to improve the urban canopy

From left, Anna Thurston, Ayanna Belton, Caleb Belton, 5, and Jeff Scherr roll one of six young oaks into its new home, Saturday on Elm Street. (John Levin)

NORWALK, Conn. —  The Norwalk Tree Alliance inspired community members to help plant 15 trees recently, working toward the goal of improving Norwalk’s tree canopy with native species.

It was the group’s first volunteer project, Vice President Tom Arbron said.

With a camera pointed in their direction, Anna Thurston and Jeff Scherr grabbed whatever tools were laying around for the shot. (John Levin)

“In the past we had always had the trees professionally planted so we wanted to see if the community at large would show up.  And they did,” Arbron wrote Thursday.

Five dogwood trees were planted by 25 volunteers at the Norwalk Congregational Church and nine or 10 people planted six oak trees on Elm Street in front of the Triangle Community Center, he said. In addition, three serviceberries and one dogwood tree were planted at ElderHouse.

Today is Arbor Day, a national observation designed to celebrate trees and encourage people to plant trees. The Tree Alliance is partnering with the Norwalk Tree Advisory Committee to plant trees at two Norwalk elementary schools and then at Oak Hills Park, Arbron said.

Eight trees will be planted at Oak Hills, a City press release said.

Norwalk Tree Alliance volunteers Saturday on Elm Street include Kerrin Massey, Valentina Granada, Courtney Steininger
Emily Burnaman, Valeria Granada, Nino Bochoidze, Karlee Szymanowski, Liliana Delgado, Giseela Orellana, Jeff Scherr, Devin Duncan, Anna Thurston and Tom Arbron. (John Levin)

From left, Caleb Belton, 5, watches as mom Ayanna Belton and Devin Duncan dig the hole for an oak tree, Saturday on Elm Street.

Volunteers plant a tree Saturday on Elm Street. (John Levin)

From left, Norwalk Tree Alliance board members Allan Broadbent (president), Tom Arbron (vice president), Susan Simmons, Jeff Scherr and Anna Thurston. (John Levin)

Muscling a young oak into the ground Saturday are, from left, Nino Bochoidze, Karlee Szymanowski, Caleb Belton, 5, and Jeff Scherr. (John Levin)

2 comments

Priscilla Feral April 30, 2021 at 11:16 am

How wonderful to learn about the native tree planting effort in Norwalk. At Friends of Animals. we celebrate Arbor Day by spreading the message: “Leave trees standing.” While we know planting the right trees correctly can help combat climate change, it’s not a silver bullet. We must keep existing forests standing. They store carbon, provide habitat for wildlife and plants and prevent erosion.

In the last couple of days, I watched the chopping down of trees at the end of McKinley Street where I reside, along Rowayton Avenue to accommodate a new condo building in Rowayton. It feels like a crime on the neighborhood. Trees improve water quality and increase property values. They’re the lungs of our Earth. Let’s cherish them and leave them standing.

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