New City program enhances historic Green
The rain held off just long enough for the dedication of the first trees to be planted as part of the City's new program for the "greening" (by allowing anyone to sponsor at tree for planting in the city) of the city. In a ceremony filled with nostalgia and emotion, eight new trees were dedicated on Founders Commons with the sounds of the New Haven Emerald Society Pipe & Drum band playing in the background.
City Treasurer Keith McLiverty, who organized the event, served as master of ceremonies during a brief ceremony on the Commons on Academy Hill. Mayor Staffieri, who was one of the sponsors of the trees, welcomed everyone on behalf of the city. Jack Walsh, Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission gave a brief history of the Commons calling it the city's first park. Ken Hughes, President of the Board of Aldermen, read a poem entitled "Thinking of You." The individual dedications for each of the trees were then read before the sponsors were presented with commemorative watering cans and asked to water their individual trees for the first time. At various spots throughout the program, the Pipe Band presented a variety of appropriate songs.
The tree planting program was recommended to the City by Marcucio Gardens owner Phil Marcucio who first noticed the City that trees on the historic Commons were dying and needed replacement. He approached the Board of Aldermen with an idea for a tree planting program whereby individuals could sponsor the trees and Marcucio would provide the labor to plant them.
The idea was a hit with the Board, and they unanimously approved a resolution to set up a fund to accept donations for the tree plantings. Within 24 hours, seven of the initial 8 trees had been purchased including one by the members of the Board of Aldermen. Each tree and accompanying plaque costs $300. Now that the initial eight plantings are complete, the city will continue the program throughout the city including the new Greenway where the city will also soon announce a program to purchase commemorative bricks for a new plaza. To purchase a tree, call the mayor's office at 736-1450.
The trees dedicated on Saturday include:
Originally posted 9/23/2006. Update 9/1/2007