Greenwich Tree Conservancy Benefit Reimagines McArdle’s as a Tree House

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McArdle’s offered the perfect venue for the Greenwich Tree Conservancy’s 6th annual “Tree Party,” April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Darrin Wigglesworth, Lisa Beebe and Steve Gospodinoff at the Tree Conservancy benefit, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Cricket Lockhart, Lori Jackson, Leslie Lee, Patti Sechi and Davidde Strackbein at the Tree Conservancy benefit at McArdle’s on April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Richard Bergstressor, Mike Aurelia and Denise Savageau at the Tree Conservancy “Tree Party” at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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John Blankley and Arlene Lomazzo at the Tree Conservancy benefit at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Miriam Mennin at the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy held its sixth annual benefit on April 29 at McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center.

The Tree Conservancy plants trees anywhere on public land, including roadsides, parks and school grounds.

They also  have the ability to plant at any non-profit location.

The organization’s executive director JoAnn Messina speaks to community groups and can be spotted around town sizing up potential spots for trees or checking on the green gator bags that keep newly planted trees watered.

The importance of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, a public-private partnership with the Town, became increasingly significant after a string of storms including Treepocalypse in March 2010, Hurricane Irene in 2011, and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, pummelled Greenwich.

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Green gator bag on a newly planted tree with Greenwich Tree Conservancy logo along the traffic island at intersection of Milbank and East Elm. April 30, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

“While we’ve planted about 2,500 trees, the town has lost about 3,000,” said Peter Malkin, president of the Tree Conservancy’s board of directors. “We’re treading water, but last year we planted just under 500, and hope to plant even more this year.”

The non-profit Tree Conservancy came to life in 2007, and since then, the green “gator bags” bearing GTC’s logo are a familiar sight on town land. Dotting parks and roadsides, each young tree represents the conservancy’s “vision of a healthy and beautiful townwide community forest.”

Mr. Malkin said the Tree Conservancy has a great rapport with the town, singling out Darrin Wigglesworth and Steve Gospodinoff from the Parks and Trees Departments in addition to private contractors.

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Bea Crumbine has a laugh at the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Susan Sleeper and Susan Scheiffelin co-chairs of the event, with Peter Malkin at the Tree Conservancy benefit at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Event co-chair Susan Sleeper and Tree Conservancy executive director JoAnn Messina at the “Tree Party” at McArdle’s on April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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James McArdle, Susan and Susan Scheiffelin and Peter Malkin with representatives from Hennessy waiting for the Hennessy winner to come forward. April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Allegra Milani and Charlie Johnson, both seniors at Greenwich Academy, helped circulate the tree pledge sheets, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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The chorus from Brunswick School sang “For the Longest Time” at the Tree Conservancy benefit at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Wisteria growing on supports outside McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Parker Murphy with her mom Betsy Murphy at the “Tree Party” to benefit the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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The tree theme extended all the way to the serving platters at the Greenwich Tree Conservancy benefit at McArdle’s, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Adele Whitmyer and Parker Murphy from Greenwich Academy, help with tree pledges at the benefit for the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, April 29, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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Sally Davies with Lloyd and Mary Hull at the “Tree Party” benefit for Greenwich Tree Conservancy, April 29, 2016. Credit: Leslie Yager

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More information about the  Greenwich Tree Conservancy is available online.

McArdle’s Florist and Garden Center is located at 48 Arch Street in Greenwich. Tel. (203) 661-5600


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Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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