By Allison Collins
SIDNEY CENTER – Members of the Sidney Center Improvement Group and residents of the Delaware County hamlet gathered Saturday morning for a tree giveaway and planting, courtesy of NYSEG’s Vegetation Management Department.
SCIG President Michael Sellitti said, after giving away roughly 120 trees to residents, the focus Saturday shifted to planting in the hamlet’s up-and-coming park.
The roughly two-acre park, bisected by a manmade, tiered stream implemented in 2011 as part of flood mitigation efforts, has been neglected since that time, Sellitti said. SCIG members began fundraising last summer, he said, to see the park revitalized.
“Part of our whole mission is to improve access to the park,” Sellitti said, noting that the nonprofit’s vision includes installing a “capstone” footbridge over the stream, rehabilitating the basketball court, revamping signage and updating the swings.
“The trees are working out nicely to tie into that project,” he said. “Part of what we do is clean water outreach and advocacy, and (NYSEG) specifically gave out trees that are good for stream-bank stabilization, so this is serving multiple purposes – it’s a nice addition to the park and further protection against erosion.”
Group members and volunteers planted roughly 12 seedlings that will, in time, form a tree-lined entry into the park. An additional 20 trees were planted within the park proper, with deer cages and bamboo stakes donated for each tree.