Greenwich Tree Conservancy: Replacement Decision on Tree Warden Will Set Course for Decades

Letter to the Editor submitted by Greenwich Tree Conservancy leaders Peter L. Malkin, Chairman; Cheryl Dunson, President; and JoAnn Messina, Executive Director

A very important town position is being filled soon. The Town’s Superintendent of Parks and Trees and Town Tree Warden is being replaced.

Bruce Spaman who held this position for 16 years, an Arborist and professional Forester, has recently retired.

During his tenure, Bruce was instrumental in: creating Town Tree Policies including Greenwich’s restrictions on ground to sky tree trimming by utilities; passing a Town Public Tree Ordinance; enabling our public-private partnership that has resulted in over 3500 trees being planted over the last decade on public lands in Greenwich; inspiring us to inaugurate the Greenwich Town Arboretum thus far labeling trees in 4 historic town parks.

We also collectively have held Arbor Day tree plantings and celebrations at schools in Greenwich.

On a state level the Town Tree Warden is a member of the Tree Warden Association, represents Greenwich on several state boards and commissions and can be instrumental with testimony when trees are in jeopardy.

Trees and greenspace are an important part of our town fabric.

This position is very important to the welfare of the town’s 2000 acres of landscape which includes: 1100 acres of parks, 250 acres of school campuses and 650 acres of roadside forest.

The annual operating budget is close to 5 million dollars and the position has 60 direct reports.

There have only been 2 people in 52 years to hold this very important position. By state statute (Chapter 451, Sec. 23-58) this person must be a licensed Arborist and certified Tree Warden.

It is very important to have an experienced, knowledgeable individual who can reach out daily to neighborhood associations, garden clubs, non-profit conservation groups, scouts and the residents of Greenwich.

Greenwich is a premiere residential community. We are hopeful that the selection committee will select a stellar candidate with requisite skills, ability and expertise to provide the demanding oversight and the extensive support that the Greenwich community requires.

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy
Peter L. Malkin, Chairman
Cheryl Dunson, President
JoAnn Messina, Executive Director

Original planting of Magnolia tree, standing Left to Right, Cheryl Dunson, Vice President of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Peter Malkin, President, standing behind her, JoAnn Messina, Executive Director, Bruce Spaman, Greenwich Tree Warden, and Livvy Floren, Advisory Board member.