PHOTOS: Sam Bridge is Perfect Venue to Celebrate 10 Years of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy

Peter Malkin and Leslie Lee

Peter Malkin and Leslie Lee of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses. Nov 16, 2017

Miriam Mennin and JoAnn Messina

Greenwich Tree Conservancy’s Miriam Mennin and JoAnn Messina at the 10th anniversary celebration at Sam Bridge, Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Greenwich Tree Conservancy’s Leslie Lee, Phil Matthews and Susie Baker at Sam Bridge Nursery and Greenhouses, Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Bill and Julia Boysen with John Nelson and Susie Baker

Bill and Julia Boysen with John Nelson and Susie Baker at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

JoAnn Messina with Francia Alvarez and Bruce Socket

Executive director of GTC JoAnn Messina with Francia Alvarez and Bruce Socket at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kath Burgweger and Carol Burns, supporters of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kath Burgweger and Carol Burns, supporters of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses, Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Cheryl Dunson (VP of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy) with Rusty Parker (director of GTC and assistant treasurer) with Leslie Lee, (co-chair of the GTC advisory board). Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Cheryl Dunson (VP of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy) with Rusty Parker (board of directors of GTC and assistant treasurer) with Leslie Lee, (co-chair of the GTC advisory board). Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Ron Bridge, Lisa Beebe and Carol Robertson, with Sadie the black Lab at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Ron Bridge, Lisa Beebe and Carol Robertson, with Sadie the black Lab at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses during the 10 Year celebration of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Davidde Strackbein, Sue McClenachan, Livvy Floren and Renee Seblatnigg at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Davidde Strackbein, Sue McClenachan, Livvy Floren and Renee Seblatnigg at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses

Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses hosted a 10 year anniversary party at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses on Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

JoAnn Messina with a map of the arboretum in Bruce Park, which is a project of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

JoAnn Messina with a map of the arboretum in Bruce Park, which is a project of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Thursday night was a mild one, with just a week to go until Thanksgiving, and members and fans of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy flocked to Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses for a celebration of the non-profit’s 10th year planting trees in town.

The GTC’s president, Peter Malkin said the organization is coming close to a cumulative total of 3,000 trees planted in Greenwich.

“It started when we were living near North Maple Ave and saw that the wonderful Maples planted by the Rockefellers were disappearing. We planted a couple and realized it was really a town benefit.”

The organization has flourished and grown, and Mr. Malkin said the board is so enthusiastic that the bylaws are being updated to expand membership from 15 to 20.  “All are workers, and an amazingly high percentage show up at every meeting,” he said.

Malkin said the board of directors is set to vote on new officers shortly, with Cheryl Dunson set to succeed him as the president, and Leslie Lee becoming vice president. Malkin will then move sideways to become chairman.

The Bridge family have been strong supporters of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy and the greenhouses provided a beautiful backdrop for the party.

“It’s fitting because we care about the green space in Greenwich and it’s important to keep the town’s wooded feel,” said Maggie Bridge. “That’s why we support the Greenwich Tree Conservancy’s mission.”

The event was also a fundraiser for a major project of the GTC, which is an arboretum in Bruce Park.

“Just as museums ask for donations for their acquisitions of fine art, we are asking for donations to build our living collection of arboretum trees,” said Ms. Lee, who is currently co-chair of the advisory board with Susie Baker.

“We have begun our arboretum,” said Baker. “It’s a collection of specimen trees. One of our famous patrons donated the signs and they indicate the genus, species and common name, along with the Greenwich Tree Conservancy logo.”

Susie Baker, Peter Malkin, Korrine Van Ness, Doug Van Ness, Sam Bridge

Susie Baker, Peter Malkin, Korrine Van Ness and Doug Van Ness at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses for the 10 year celebration of Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Nov 16, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Terry Rogers of Horseneck Wines & Liquors provided the wine for the event, and Rogers’ husband Phil Matthews said Greenwich’s trees are one of its best assets.

“One of the things I really like about living in Greenwich after 35 years are the people here from all over the world who are very interesting. And the trees have the biggest and best variety,” Matthews said. “Just don’t go to Vermont – be patient.”


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Mr. Malkin said that when the Greenwich Tree Conservancy was started 10 years ago, the town had $40,000 in its annual budget to plant trees, but never spent it. Instead, year after year, the funds went back into the town’s general fund.

Around the time GTC was founded, a number of severe storms coincided with layoffs of a number of staff in the town tree department, which is part of Parks & Recreation.

“The tree people were all busy cleaning up the storms and trees,” Malkin said, going on to explain that a combination of the town changing its tree ordinance to permit the use of its budget to purchase trees, and GTC taking responsibility to plant them using local contractors, including Sam Bridge, has been very successful. In the process GTC works closely with Bruce Spaman and Steve Gospodinoff from the town tree department.

More information on the Greenwich Tree Conservancy is available online. Click here for information on making a donation.

Sam Bridge Nursery & Greehouses

Just one of the beautiful displays for the holiday season at Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses at 437 North Street in Greenwich.

Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses is located at 437 North Street in Greenwich.

 


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