NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s tree lovers are planning to recognize the efforts of two late Norwalk volunteers, one with a tree in Cranbury Park and one by naming a little park in her honor, near her house.
The late Dick Aime and the late Diane Witkowski were on the minds of the Norwalk Tree Advisory Committee Thursday. Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord, who is the city staff person assigned to the tree committee, called them “two key people.”
Witkowski, 61, died suddenly Oct. 28 and already there has been a tribute made – Mike Mushak has planted 200 tulips in her honor, according to her grieving husband, Al Raymond. Half are in the “little island” on Magnolia Avenue, between two newly planted trees, and half are at the bottom of Maple Street by hospital hill, where the bus stop is, Raymond said.
Alvord suggested naming the little island Diane Witkowski Park.
“There’s a permanent reference to somebody who really put a lot of time and effort into improving the city and her own neighborhood,” he said.
The city would cover the cost of a plaque, pending approval by the Common Council in January, he said. The committee voted unanimously to recommend that. Raymond tearfully expressed gratitude.
Aime, 93, died Oct. 22. Committee members voted to plant a tree in Cranbury Park in his honor at the next tree festival.
“I will never forget when we began the tree festivals, especially the second year,” Alvord said. “I think at that time Dick was 87 and we were at Shady Beach. The wind was blowing and Dick was, like, being blown over, but he was out there putting tents up, putting signs up, at 87. I think he was the secretary of the tree alliance for many, many years. I think it would be appropriate if this committee authorize some appropriate recognition.”