By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – For the 21st consecutive year, the village of Sidney was designated a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation thanks to the continued efforts of the Shade Tree Commission. The occasion, as is tradition, was celebrated on Arbor Day, Friday, April 28, at Sidney’s Keith Clark Park. This year, longtime Sidney community pillar Elwin Van VanValkenburgh was honored with a maple tree planting in his name.
Among his many community-centric causes, VanValkenburgh was one of the founding members of the Shade Tree Commission, which defines its mission as: determining the needs and problems of village trees; making recommendations to the Sidney Village Board regarding tree planting programs; informing village residents and board members regarding the selection, planting and maintenance of trees in the village; coordinating shade tree programs with area civic groups; identifying village sites appropriate for further planting and maintaining Tree City USA status for the village.
Friday’s ceremony opened with Sidney mayor Andy Matviak presenting Shade Tree Commission member and vice president Nancy Redente with a Tree City USA award flag.
Sidney Central School District fifth graders were on-hand to share Arbor Day-inspired poetry and posters, designed by the students with an emphasis on conservation.
NYS Department for Environmental Conservation forester Scott Moxham performed the ceremonial tree planting in the field sloping away from the park’s picnic pavilion.
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