Soil and water

The Wilton family plants 100 trees in Bradley Park

Town of Wilton press release:

10 October 2021

Over 60 people gathered at Bradley Park in Wilton on Saturday October 2 to plant 100 small white pines. The event was sponsored by the Wilton Environmental Affairs Department, funded by the Tampi family and supported by the Wilton Conservation Commission.

Under cool breezes and sunny skies, about 30 families from Cider Mill School made their way to Bradley Park carrying 2ft trees in pots, gallon water bottles, shovels, trowels and gloves to a location half a mile from the port of entry that has experienced significant “dips” from the storms of recent and previous years. Separated into family groups about 10 feet apart, families learned the correct way to plant a tree, and each family planted two or three trees. With great enthusiasm and determination, the 100 trees were planted, fertilized and watered in less than three hours, and the group enjoyed apple cider and cookies before dispersing for their other Saturday afternoon activities. .

This event arose out of a discussion between Mr Tampi and his daughter, Maya, a fourth grader who was concerned that her father was chopping down trees on their property in Wilton. “If I cut down these trees,” his father promised, “I will plant new ones in the city. The “deal has been concluded”
and Mr. Tampi contacted Mike Conklin, Director of Environmental Affairs, who enthusiastically accepted the idea and the funds.

Zen Herter, Wilton’s environmental analyst, planned the project, including sourcing the trees, identifying areas in need of replanting, turned to members of the Conservation Commission to help advise families on the proper planting methods, and working with school administrators to invite fourth graders and their families to join the activity. With the cooperation of the weather forecast, a major planting was carried out by the Tampi family, some of their friends and other fourth graders and their families.

The Town of Wilton and all those who enjoy the trails in Bradley Park recognize and thank with gratitude the participants for their generous financial and physical efforts to reestablish the trees in this park. With the continued support of our residents, we can plan more of these planting events to keep our eleven (11) spaces open when natural and human actions degrade the pristine beauty they offer us all.

Wilton is an American tree town and we pride ourselves on our open spaces in addition to our parks at Merwin Meadows, Allen’s Meadow and our school playgrounds. The maintenance of these
these areas are part of the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation, respectively. We are fortunate to have an abundance of trees in our community, and many residents surveyed indicated that they value our town’s tree canopy as one of the main reasons for choosing Wilton as a host site.

Trees make a major gift to the region by storing carbon, providing oxygen, filtering the soil from runoff to help keep our rivers and streams clean, providing soil nutrients to our city and to our personal properties to develop a healthy and beautiful landscape. They provide habitat and food for the many species of birds throughout the year and for migrants; they increase the population of pollinators that fertilize the many plants that produce food that we enjoy and that provide food for birds. They provide shade and cooling, which saves energy, and research has shown that seeing and being among trees improves the emotional health of humans.
When forested areas suffer losses and are not replanted, opportunistic invasive plant species quickly take hold in the empty spaces and supplant the native species that once grew there. Invasive plants are fast growing and offer none of the environmental benefits that native plants do. The Wilton Conservation Commission only plants native plants on city properties and encourages private residents, commercial organizations and new developments in the planning stages to plant native plants on their properties as well. It is much easier to install new native plants than it is to eradicate established invasive plants.

For more information on trees and tree planting in Wilton, contact Mike Conklin, Director of Environmental Affairs at (203) 563-0180 or [email protected]

This press release was produced by the City of Wilton. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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