An Arbor Day Oak tree planting dedication and proclamation took place May 2 at Old Greenwich School with many students attending.
JoAnn Messina of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy organized the event and spoke about the history of Arbor Day and read the Selectman’s Proclamation. Also attending and speaking were Bruce Spaman, Town Tree Warden; Denise Savageau, Director of Greenwich Conservation Commission; Jennifer Bencivengo, Old Greenwich School Principal; and Karen Handal, President of sponsoring Garden Club of Old Greenwich .
Arbor Day began in 1872 in Nebraska when Sterling Martin a pioneer and journalist, planted trees for wind breaks to hold the soil in place. Schools took up tree planting and each class would plant and care for a tree. It then became a national and international event.
The benefits of trees is they produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, they absorb water and prevent flooding and erosion, they support wildlife and provide shade and cooling temperature.
This is the second Oak tree the Garden Club of Old Greenwich has sponsored. The Pin Oak planted in front of Old Greenwich School will support over 500 species of larvae, the food source for all hatchlings.
It takes about 5,000 larvae to support a clutch of chickadees according to Doug Tallamy, entomologist and Author of “Bringing Nature Home.”