On Monday morning the group LightUpGreenwich.org had a planning meeting, followed by a press conference.
The news is good: In time for Thanksgiving, a total of 175 trees will be illuminated with strings of lights that will remain throughout the 2015-16 holiday season!
From Nov. 20 through early January residents can enjoy holiday shopping and stroll among the twinkling trees.
By February, all lights will be removed from the trees so as not to damage them, and stored for use next year.
According to Assistant to the Director Linda Sigler, the lights are guaranteed for three years, but should last up to 20 years.
“They are C6 Strawberry lights. They’re LED and reusable,” Sigler said, adding that if you look closely at each tiny light, it is shaped with dimples, like a strawberry.
“The lights cost $32,000, which is enough to illuminate 175 trees,” said Linda Sigler, assistant to the director of Green & Clean, adding that while that is a significant dollar amount, the lights are a one-time expense.
“They’re a huge investment. They’re made in China. I did a ton of research,” Sigler said. “They’re not made anywhere in America.”
Sigler said RFPs have gone out to tree vendors and electricians, which should be back this week. “The next step will be to select vendors to do the physical work,” she said.
“This is about cooperation. Everybody’s pitching in. Scott Mitchell is just fabulous,” said Mary Hull, executive director of Greenwich Green & Clean, whose mission is to create a cleaner, more beautiful environment to live and work. “Scott is organizing the merchants and that’s what we need the most. Because this is the first year we’re buying the lights.”
“The Town is working very closely with us!” Hull added.
“There’s no turning back now. We’ve committed to the order for the lights,” said Joe Tranfo, with a big smile at the foot of the grand staircase at Richards on Monday morning.
“This is a natural extension of Green & Clean. This was just waiting to happen. You have landlords, philanthropic organizations and the people, who are all encouraged to give, even if it’s just $5.00 or $10,” he said.
According to Tranfo, the project is similar to the Greenwich Town Party. He pointed out that Ray Dalio was key in getting the event launched. “Now people look forward to it every year. People have seen how it brought the town together,” Tranfo said.
The Mitchells’ leadership should not be understated,” Mr. Tranfo added. “They deserve huge kudos.”
The lights will be complimented by the holiday baskets organized by Green & Clean. In fact, according to Green & Clean director, Mary Hull, the baskets are a tradition.
“We’ve brought cheer and beauty to Greenwich Ave Ave, Cos Cob and parts of East Putnam Avenue for 30 years,” Hull said, adding that it takes a huge volunteer effort to assemble the winter holiday baskets up at the Garden Education Center greenhouse. (Greenery and a Dash of Japanese Flair Make Holiday Baskets Extra Cheerful).
“We get a lot of help from Sam Bridge for the summer baskets,” Hull said.
Donors can use a credit card or PayPal to make a contribution, big or small. Or you can send a check to 113 Pemberwick Road, Greenwich, CT 06831. For information call the Green & Clean office at (203) 531-0006.
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