Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Councilman Ed Smyth and Councilwoman Joan Cergol were joined by Covanta and Girl Scout Service Unit 12, Troop 239 for an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony and to unveil trees planted with Tree City USA grant funding at Columbia Street Park in Huntington Station Friday, April 30.
“Thank you to Covanta Huntington for your environmentally-conscious donation and to our Girl Scouts from Troop 239 for your commitment to Columbia Street Park and many of our green spaces,” stated Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “The Town of Huntington is fortunate to have maintained our Tree City USA designation for over 20 years and thanks to your contributions, grant funding from the New York State Urban Forestry Council, and our Volunteer Parks Stewards like Alvin White, we will continue to plant trees, beautify and preserve our open spaces.”
“It’s great to be in Columbia Park, one of the “hidden gems” of the Town’s parks,” said Councilman Ed Smyth. “Our bigger parks get most of the attention, but it is worthwhile for our residents to explore the smaller parks that are often within walking distance of their homes.”
“I want to thank Covanta for donating such a beautiful American Elm tree and Girl Scout Service Unit 12, Troop 239 for planting additional saplings at Columbia Park,” Councilwoman Cergol said. “Planting trees is one of the best things we can do for the Town’s natural beauty and for the environment, and I’m proud to serve a Town that has been designated a Tree City USA community for 20 years and running.”
Maureen Early, Senior Community Affairs Specialist for Covanta, stated, “Covanta was delighted to partner with Supervisor Lupinacci and the Town of Huntington to plant trees in honor of Arbor Day. It’s efforts like this that remind us how important it is to protect our environment and work toward a more sustainable tomorrow. We thank our municipal leaders for being environmental stewards with us.”
Girl Scouts from Troop 239 in Service Unit 12 from South Huntington joined the ceremony to help plant the American Elm tree donated by Covanta to the Town of Huntington to commemorate Arbor Day; the Town Board accepted the donation at their April 13 meeting.
Participating in the Arbor Day ceremony were Girl Scout Cadettes Zahara Amorde, Julia Dean, Kate Sperduti, Lily Fleischer, Abbrianna Mandarino, Kate Adams, Morgan Franz, Ava Tulipano, and Allie Lynde, as well as Girl Scout Juniors Sophia Amorde, Nadia McKelvey, and Ava Rodriguez. The Scouts also helped plant additional bare root saplings at the park. Troop Co-Leaders Gina Barone and Christine Reilly attended the event.
Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader Gina Barone stated, “It was a privilege and pleasure for Troop 239 to participate in the Town of Huntington Arbor day tree planting event. Girl Scouts have been passionate proponents of conservation throughout our organization’s 100-plus year history and our troop strives to embody the value of environmental stewardship in our Huntington community. We are committed to continuing to live the Girl Scout law of “using resources wisely” and protecting the Earth both globally and locally. Thank you for supporting our mission and for allowing us to be a part of such an inspiring program!”
Volunteer Park Steward Alvin White, who serves as the parks steward for Columbia Street Park, also attended the Arbor Day event.
The event also celebrated grant funding that allowed additional trees to be planted at the park in late 2020. The Town of Huntington has maintained its designation as a Tree City USA for over two decades. In September 2020, the Town applied for and received $1,000 in Tree City USA grant funding from the New York State Urban Forestry Council to plant five (5) trees at Columbia Street Park in Huntington Station, a site recommended in a Planting Location Evaluation from a tree inventory previously conducted with a Tree Inventory Grant funded by the NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Program.
A total of twelve (12) trees were planted under the project; seven (7) trees were funded by an EOSPA-recommended match of $1,900. Most of the trees were planted as street trees to provide shade and a welcoming park aesthetic in 2020, when an event could not be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic.