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Posted on: May 13, 2022

Town of Essex Receives 2022 Greening Schools Grant

EES Arbor Day Planting 3

Essex, VT – The Essex Conservation & Trails Committee (CTC) received a 2022 Greening Schools Grant offered by Horsford Gardens & Nursery and the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program. The Greening Schools program was created by Horsford owners Charlie Proutt and Eileen Schilling to support tree stewardship among youth in Chittenden and Addison Counties.

This year, CTC has chosen to partner with Founders Memorial School Principal Sara Jablonski and Assistant Librarian Tiffany Gershon. On May 17, 2022, at 10:00 AM, the 36-member Student Council and the CTC will plant a ‘Donald Wyman’ variety crabapple tree with assistance from Heritage Tree Care, which has again generously donated the labor to prepare the site and will supervise students as they fill in the soil.

The white-flowering tree was selected with the help of Chuck Vile, the Town Forester / Tree Warden and advisor to the CTC. The tree will be located outside the school’s side entrance, providing an attractive welcome and a small amount of shade for the parking lot. The students and administrative staff of the school will oversee the watering and maintenance of the trees during the crucial first year. 

“The CTC is a very hands-on group working on several projects involving trees,” said Alan Botula, Chair of the CTC. “We were delighted to get this grant to help support our efforts in maintaining and adding trees to our landscape.”

In addition to celebrating Arbor Day for the second year in a row, the CTC also recently won Selectboard approval of a Tree Care Policy, the fourth and final requirement to obtain the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA designation. To meet the other criteria, the CTC has worked hard to manage the town’s urban forestry program and budget, creating an inventory and management plan for the community’s street trees to prepare for the emerald ash borer (an invasive insect threatening ash trees), as well as creating an Adopt-a-Tree program to involve citizens in caring for the community’s trees.

In its other work, the committee also develops management plans for several town forests, maintains trail maps for the parks, conducts bi-annual clean-up days to control invasive species at Indian Brook Park, oversees a Trail Caretakers Program, and much more. The CTC is comprised of volunteers who meet on the 2nd Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 PM. 

Photos credit to Ben Dickie, EWSD Communications Coordinator

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