Green

Growing Strong: Looking to Future, Yorktown Celebrates Arbor Day

31dd4b23464b420b6542_50613.JPG
Girl Scout Troop 1326 tosses dirt from each corner of Yorktown onto the base of a recently planted river birch. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
f4f93e2fdaeeb3c576d5_50612.JPG
Girl Scout Troop 1326—Rijuta Patel, 9, Ava Conetta, 10, Monica Lapman, 10, troop leader Jennie Sunshine, Gianna Zumbo, 10, Emily Fields, 10, Hannah Sunshine, 6, Katherine Achata, 10, Maya Sunshine, 10 Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
d43030bc0d58e2894c83_50614.JPG
Zayneb Cherif, third place winner of the fifth grade submissions, stands next to her poster. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
9e5cc9be0025a5358c42_50615.JPG
Michael DeSisto, Thomas DeSisto, Allison DeSisto, Charlotte Lorraine DeSisto, Alice Roker, Diana Quast, Geri Schwalb and Isabel Cavanagh Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
90321a4173bf59a53c63_50616.jpg
Dave Paganelli, Michael Grace, Ed Lachterman, Michael Desisto, Thomas DeSisto, Allison DeSisto and Charlotte Lorraine DeSisto Credits: Mary Capoccia
2a5fe6104d8be3c728ad_50617.JPG
This plaque honors Lorrain DeSisto, who was instrumental in reestablishing Yorktown’s Arbor Day commemoration. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
08f749d7c8a2b4af7128_50618.JPG
Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
f820baa2ed3688587611_50619.JPG
Poster contest winners Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
f3b6c4a2f10754dac8ee_50620.JPG
Supervisor Michael Grace reads the Arbor Day Proclamation. Behind him are Deputy Supervisor, Gregory Bernard, Councilman Ed Lachterman and Councilman Vishnu Patel. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
d601ba3e737a995affcf_50621.JPG
Bill Kellner, chair of the Tree Conservation Advisory Commission Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
e706a9d5e76188f01853_50622.JPG
Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
bae77afe8426d634fb7f_50623.JPG
Dale Saltzman led the awards ceremony for the winners of the Arbor Day poster contest. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
31dd4b23464b420b6542_50613.JPG

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – This year’s annual Arbor Day ceremony squeezed a lot of celebrating into 45 minutes, as more than 50 residents and town officials gathered on a sunny, warm day at Patriot Garden on Thursday, April 28.

In addition to observing the national holiday, the occasion marked the sixth year of Yorktown’s Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation. According to its website, the Tree City USA program’s mission is “to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve care of these vital city trees.”

Bill Kellner of the Tree Conservation Advisory Commission led the series of ceremonies, which was kicked off by Girl Scout Troop 1326 with the Pledge of Allegiance. Town Supervisor Michael Grace read the Arbor Day proclamation and Councilman Vishnu Patel said a few words about the significance of acting in the present with the future in mind.

Sign Up for E-News

“Someone is sitting in the shade because someone planted a tree long ago,” Patel said.

A special ceremony was held in honor of Lorraine DeSisto, who was instrumental in re-establishing Yorktown’s Arbor Day commemoration. She died at 65 in 2014 after a long battle with ovarian cancer. A tree was planted in her honor and a plaque was placed under it. DeSisto’s family was in attendance. Unveiling the plaque were Alice Roker, Geri Schwalb and Town Clerk Diana Quast, all of the Yorktown Rotary Club.

“We miss her very much. She will always remain in our hearts especially on this day,” Kellner said.

The winners of the annual Arbor Day poster contest were announced and the entries were on display during the ceremony. This year’s theme was, “Native Trees Provide a Home for Wildlife.” The participants, all fourth- and fifth-grade students at Lakeland and Yorktown schools, received certificates. The winning submissions will be made into banners and displayed on select streets in Yorktown, Shrub Oak and Jefferson Valley. They will also be hung in town hall in July and on the town’s website.

Girl Scout Troop 1326 wished good health to the trees from the four corners of Yorktown by tossing dirt from each corner onto the base of a recently planted river birch. They will earn their Arbor Patch for their efforts.

Kellner invited the girls back for Arbor Day 2047 when, like them, the saplings they assisted in planting will be fully grown.

“In the year 2047, when you see the tall trees that have grown up in the Patriot Garden, maybe you’ll think back to Arbor Day 2017 and how you started something really big and really important,” he said.

He thanked the town board and Yorktown Planning Department, Comptroller Patricia Caporale, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli for their support and contributions to the ceremony.

Quast, recreation commission chair, was given the Tree City USA hat in recognition of her efforts to further Arbor Day and the environmental quality of the town’s parks. Kellner also acknowledged the Yorktown Lions and Rotary Clubs for their donations to support the event.

Tree Conservation Commission members Dale Salzman and Keith Schepart were also recognized. Along with his activity on the tree commission, Schepart owns Taconic Tree Care Inc. and donated the company’s services to prune trees in the garden.

“And of course, none of this could be done without the tremendous effort and energy provided by Arbor Day committee member Ann Kutter,” Kellner said.

Refreshments—tree-shaped cookies and locally produced cider—were provided by the Yorktown Pastry Shop and Con Edison donated a sampling of small trees for people to take home and plant.

As a part of New York State’s Trees for Tribs program, Kellner announced that watershed forester Brendan Murphy, of the Watershed Agricultural Council, would be planting six native trees along the edge of the garden the following day.

The Trees for Tribs program was created in 2007 to reforest New York’s tributaries, or small creeks and streams, which flow into and feed larger rivers and lakes, according to the website for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The goal of the program is to plant young trees and shrubs along stream corridors, to prevent erosion, increase flood water retention, improve wildlife and stream habitat, and protect water quality. According to the website, Trees for Tribs has engaged more than 7,600 volunteers in planting more than 66,000 trees and shrubs at 470 sites across New York State.

“These trees will improve the wetland that you see next to the garden, which is the source of water for the New Croton Reservoir,” Kellner said. “To further help this important wetland, we will remove invasive plants that are growing here.”

He invited anyone to participate and said equipment would be provided.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

What Is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a research organization. Apparently, it is funded by the Mercer family, second only to the Koch brothers on the liberal hit list. Both, through their philanthropy, spend millions on various needy organizations like hospitals. What makes them liberal targets is their funding of various conservative think tanks and candidates. I digress.

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook ...

The Best of the Best: Albert Capellini

In the spring of 1991, after answering an ad for a judicial race placed in the local Yorktown paper, I was talked into the unenviable position of running for Yorktown councilman as a Democrat in our then solidly Republican town.

Having been a practicing lawyer since 1974, I felt confident about my qualifications for the position of town judge, but being elected to the Town Board was quite ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

An Open Letter to the Yorktown Town Board

April 11, 2018

The Yorktown Chamber of Commerce proudly serves as the voice of Yorktown’s vibrant business community. A vital part of our mission is to help improve the quality of life for all Yorktowners.

The chamber’s Board of Directors is more ambitious than ever, as we work hard to find new ways to enhance our great community through marketing opportunities and smartly placed commercial and ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...

Why Do Kids Hate Math?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I am in second grade and have a problem about math. My teacher just keeps giving me homework and it’s driving me crazy. Because she keeps giving it to me on weekends and spring and summer breaks. And it’s only one level and it’s too hard. But the other people who have special needs get to be moved into a higher or lower group and they learn even more because ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 26, 1:30 PM

United Methodist Church, Shrub Oak

IBM Retirees Club

Community Calendar

Fri, April 27, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Community Cultural Center, YORKTOWN HEIGHTS

Tai Chi for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Launches Wag-a-Thon Fundraiser

April 18, 2018

On April 17, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and supporting life-changing connections between people with vision loss and exceptional guide dogs, announced its first annual Wag-a-thon, a “virtual marathon in a month” fundraiser beginning on May 1.

The Wag-a-thon is a cumulative marathon that you and your dog can do anywhere, at your own ...