SIDNEY – Sidney’s Shade Tree Commission will sponsor the annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 28 beginning at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the pavilion at Keith Clark Park on River Street, adjacent to the children’s playground.
A Green Mountain maple tree will be planted in honor of Elwin (Van) VanValkenburg. VanValkenburg served as part of the Shade Tree Commission for many years and, as pharmacist at Fairbank’s Pharmacy was a well-recognized community figure. VanValkenburg requested the maple tree, stating that he’d eventually like to see a grove of them in the park
The Green Mountain variety will grow into a majestic tree with dark green leaves that will turn yellow, apricot and red in the autumn. This maple will be a welcome addition to the park, replacing the older maples that required removal a few years back due to deterioration.
Mayor Andy Matviak will open the Arbor Day ceremony and will be awarded the Tree City USA flag by Shade Tree Commission member, Nancy Redente. Redente and commission chairperson, Lorrie Roach, recently attended the Tree City Recognition Ceremony in Albany where Sidney was recognized for being a Tree City 21 years running. To receive this honor, a community must establish a commission to actively work with forestry personnel and the village department of public works. They provide clear guidance for planting, maintaining and removing trees from streets, parks and other public spaces in the community.
Sidney’s Shade Tree Commission is currently seeking residential locations for planting new trees along the utility strip right-of-way along the front of properties. Sidney residents may contact the village office for information on this upcoming spring and fall planting initiative. A variety of free trees will be offered and planted at no cost to homeowners.
Other features at the Arbor Day Ceremony will include the Arbor Day posters created by fifth grade students at Sidney Elementary School under the guidance of instructor, Alan Robinson. The children will be attending with their artwork proudly displayed. Forester Scott Moxham, from the Stanford office of the Department of Environmental Conservation, will give a brief, interesting talk on his work protecting the trees and forests of New York State.
Sidney has held an Arbor Day celebration under the guidance of the Shade Tree Commission since 1994. Trees have been planted in dedication to individuals and groups throughout Keith Clark Park and other areas of the village. Each of these Arbor Day trees bears a plaque providing information on its dedication. Tree locations for the past years will be noted in the Arbor Day program as well as information on the Shade Tree Commission, its mission and activities to fulfill the requirements of being designated Tree City USA.
The Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District in Walton has provided young sapling trees that will be distributed at the conclusion of the program and the planting of the Green Mountain maple.
The Shade Tree Commission and village of Sidney are inviting residents and friends to attend this special Arbor Day celebration on Friday, April 28.