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Friday, July 07, 2017

Friends Help Westport Arbor Program Take Root

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A red oak planted at Compo. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

The Westport Arbor Program approved by the Board of Selectmen in April is already taking root at Compo Beach via a public-private partnership.

A red oak and a lace bark elm planted last month were financed by Friends of Westport Parks & Recreation, a group established in 2011 to help the Parks and Recreation Department fund projects and services that go beyond the town’s operating budget. 

George Schweitzer donated the red oak to honor the wedding of his friends Anne O’Grady and Skip Wells, and Irene Penny funded the elm in memory of her grandmother, World War II veteran Evelyn I. Wright.

“We are excited to announce the first plantings under the Westport Arbor Program,” said Jeffrey Mayer, chairman of the Friends. 

“This is another example of how a partnership of civic-minded private donors and local government can make a difference when tax dollars are tight.”

Since its inception, the Friends group has raised funds for Wakeman Town Farm and a number of projects at Longshore Club Park, including Cliff’s Place, the refreshment stand and storm shelter at the ninth hole on the golf course, Mayer said.

Under the arbor program, donors can have trees planted to honor friends and loved ones, Mayer said, with specific trees and their locations determined by Tree Warden Bruce Lindsay and the Parks and Recreation Department.

Locations appear on a GPS map found on the Friends’ website.  Mayer said currently Compo Beach and Winslow Park have been identified for planting trees.

Mayer said the tax deductible donations cover planting, as well as maintenance, plus replacement of the trees in the case of storm damage or death. 

He said trees will be replaced by the town for up to five years from the date of planting.  Mayer added that a small administrative fee for the Friends is also included.

“Jennifer Fava of Parks and Rec and Bruce Lindsay, our tree warden, have worked hard to enhance the beauty of Westport’s parks and green spaces,” Mayer said. 

“We look forward to helping them realize their vision by attracting more donors and planting hundreds of new trees over the next few years.”

Further information about the Westport Arbor Program can be found HERE.

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Posted 07/07/17 at 06:32 PM  Permalink



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