GTC In The News

Love blossoms at the Greenwich Tree Conservancy’s Tree Party

post1Shari and Bill James were married on Sept. 21, 2013.

Contributed by The Greenwich Tree Conservancy
Shari Aserand Bill James had known each other since they were children growing up in the same neighborhood as well as both attending Round Hill Nursery School and Greenwich High School. After graduation, they went on separate paths, Shari to undergraduate school at Bucknell University where she majored in Civil Engineering and Bill to Hobart College where he majored in Political Science, and never saw each other again until… a Spring evening on April 1, 2011.
This particular evening the Greenwich Tree Conservancy was holding its annual fundraiser, the Tree Party at McArdles Garden Center. Shari was reluctant to attend since she had just come home exhausted from a business trip, but her mom. A supporter of the Tree Conservancy, coaxed her to go with a promise of treating Shari to dinner after the party.
Lo and behold, also in attendance that evening was Bill, whose mother was also a supporter of the Tree Conservancy Bill was volunteering at the party in his role as a Board Member of the Greenwich Young Professionals Group (YPG). One of Shari’s good friends, also at the party, commented that she was impressed with the YPG organization, especially their commitment to supporting the Tree Conservancy. Her friend suggested that Shari might be interested in joining the YPG and insisted upon finding a board member to introduce her to.
As Shari and her mother were about to leave, Shari’s friend returned with Bill and they immediately recognized each other from their Greenwich school days, not having seen each other for the last 15 years. As Bill was looking to recruit members additional members for the YPG, Bill suggested that they meet for drinks to discuss the group’s mission. They exchanged business cards. By the time Shari and her mom walked to their car,, Bill had already emailed her with a proposed time for drinks.
They went on their first date the following Friday at Gingerman’s Pub, and as they say, the rest is history. On September 21, 2013 Shari and Bill were married at the Westchester Country Club and now reside in Greenwich. Bill, who is a vice-president at U.S. Trust, Bank of America, Private Wealth Management, and Shari, who is director of Digital Sales, North America Software Solutions look forward to attending the Tree Party each year to celebrate their reconnection and to support the goals of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy.
Greenwich Tree Conservancy is a non-profit organization open to all interested citizens that was created to preserve and enhance the tree and forest resources of Greenwich to benefit the community, its health and its quality of life.

To The Editor: Trees bring many benefits to Greenwich

From the Greenwich-Post.com on November 14, 2013

To the Editor

Recently, the tree warden protected four beautiful pin oaks that mask part of the Cos Cob train station and give shade to that area. He also protected two trees that stand alone along Strickland Road.

We thank him for saving our town’s assets and understanding that safe roads and sidewalks can coexist with trees. Because of recent storms, some residents are concerned about our urban forest. So it’s good to remind everyone of the often-overlooked environmental and economic benefits of trees.

• Trees clean the air: Trees act as giant filters that clean the air we breathe by intercepting airborne particles, cooling the air and absorbing pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.

• Trees benefit the soil: Trees can store harmful pollutants and change them into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage, reduce effects from animal wastes, clean roadside spills, and clean water runoff into streams. Trees control soil erosion, conserve rainwater and reduce sediment deposit after storms. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain.

• Trees increase property value: Real estate values can increase when trees are planted. Data shows that buyers are willing to spend 3% to 7% more on homes with ample trees over few or no trees.

• Trees shade and cool: Shade reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. Studies show that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be “heat islands” with temperatures as much as 12 degrees higher than in surrounding areas.

• Trees bring people together: Data shows neighborhoods with shady trees and parks create outdoor spaces that attract people. When people are drawn to spaces with trees, they are more likely to see and interact with their neighbors and become friends.

Let’s be mindful of “our friends” the trees and protect our environment, health and property values. Our children, their children, and all the generations to come as the heirs of our fragile planet will be grateful to us.

JoAnn Messina
Greenwich

The author is the executive director of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy.

To the Editor: Regarding the Storm

To the Editor:

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy agrees with the recommendations given recently in several letters to the editor. Underground wiring should begin without further delay on major town roads, near substations and for all new construction. The long term cost over the many years this will take, will be far less than the cost of the current archaic system when business and property losses are taken into account.

We believe that severe and destructive “100 year” storms may be coming with more frequency and power lines will continue to suffer with our majestic trees, although the suffering will be much less if our trees are maintained. Trees provide many ecosystem benefits including clean air, cleaner water, the sequestration of carbon from the air, prevention of flooding and creating homes for wildlife. We do need to balance these benefits and the enhanced aesthetics and property values with above ground power lines while they exist, that is why the Greenwich Tree Conservancy complies with state policy of planting only right trees in right places—short ornamental trees under power lines, shade trees only where there is no power line.

The majority of trees which impacted power lines in our recent storms were trees on private property, not governed by the existing town tree ordinance nor managed by our town tree warden. We agree that public and private tree management has to improve. We fully cooperate with our town tree warden and urge an increase in funding for care of existing trees on town property.

JoAnn Messina, Executive Director

Greenwich Tree Conservancy

Save Costs, Save Trees, Bury Lines

Originally posted in Greenwich Time: Letters to the Editor:

To the editor:

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy, a non-profit citizen group dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of our “urban forest,” urges our elected officials to require Connecticut Light & Power to bury power lines in Greenwich, wherever it may be feasible. Many Greenwich residents are insisting after the devastation of Hurricane Irene that this be accomplished.

Burying power lines may actually be more cost effective in the long run for CL&P than repeatedly repairing the damage to overhead power lines after a major storm such as Irene and the nor’easter of March 2010, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result of climate change, it is projected that hurricanes will be increasingly frequent. There would also be a savings to the utility through the elimination of the continuing cost of tree removal and pruning.

Continue reading “Save Costs, Save Trees, Bury Lines”

New Study Finds Treehuggers Had It Right All Along

– Story by Adam Cervin, Greenwich Patch

According to new research just released from the U.S. Forest Service and the Davey Institute, urban forests across the country save thousands of lives every year. Trees not only save lives, but according to the study, they reduce hospital visits and the number of days taken off work, and help people nationwide breathe better. They do this simply by collecting pollutants on their leaves and branches and thus remove them from the air.
> Read the full story by Adam Cervin on Greenwich Patch.

April 1 PURA Public Hearing on Utility Vegetation Management Practices

PURA has announced that it will hold a Public Hearing in Docket No. 14-07-18 (utility vegetation management practices) on April 1, 2015 at 10:30 am at PURA, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

According to the Executive Secretary of PURA, the public may speak at the beginning of the hearing. The public may also send letters to PURA regarding the utilities’ vegetation management practices until the end of the hearing. All communications to PURA on this docket should specifically reference Docket No. 14-07-18, and should be addressed to Jeffrey R. Gaudiosi, Esq., Executive Secretary of PURA:

via e-mail toPURA.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov and/orJeff.Gaudiosi@ct.gov or via USPS to PURA, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

[Note: Mr. Gaudiosi has replaced Nicholas Neeley, who served as Acting Executive Director of PURA.]

For additional information, see http://www.gardenclubofnewhaven.org/recent-information-notices-and-news.html

Science News: Urban Vegetation Deters Crime in Philadelphia

Mar. 25, 2013 — Contrary to convention, vegetation, when well-maintained, can lower the rates of certain types of crime, such as aggravated assault, robbery and burglary, in cities, according to a Temple University study, “Does vegetation encourage or suppress urban crime? Evidence from Philadelphia, PA,” published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

“There is a longstanding principle, particularly in urban planning, that you don’t want a high level of vegetation, because it abets crime by either shielding the criminal activity or allowing the criminal to escape,” said Jeremy Mennis, associate professor of geographyand urban studies at Temple. “Well-maintained greenery, however, can have a suppressive effect on crime.”

After establishing controls for other key socioeconomic factors related to crime, such as poverty, educational attainment and population density, Mennis, along with environmental studies major Mary Wolfe, examined socioeconomic, crime and vegetation data, the latter from satellite imagery.

They found that the presence of grass, trees and shrubs is associated with lower crime rates in Philadelphia, particularly for robberies and assaults.

Read the full story at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130325160522.htm Source: Temple University (2013, March 25). Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia.

Shady Lanes Initiative

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy, in keeping with its vision of a healthy and beautiful town-wide community forest, announced in April 2011, its new Shady Lanes Initiative to select three main roadways each year to plant and steward trees. The 2011-2012 selected roads are: lower Lake Avenue, Sound Beach Avenue and Hamilton Avenue.

For more information, please contact: treeconserv@optonline.net.