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If a Tree Falls In Town, Don't Worry

The trees of Greenwich have suffered too many casualties in the wake of the string of summer storms. Luckily, with the help of JoAnn Messina and the Greenwich Tree Conservancy , many of those trees can be replaced.

"The summer storms combined with March's 'Noreaster have resulted in the loss of over 700 trees in just four months due to storms," says Messina, the executive director of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. "Many of those trees were old, Rockefeller-era trees, but they've been going down faster than we can plant them."

A Greenwich resident for over 18 years, Messina, who has served as the executive director of the Conservancy since its inception, saw there was a need for tree support in the town. In addition to advocating tree protection policies and funding, the conservancy's goals include locating and maintaining or revitalizing significant trees and identifying sites for new tree plantings.

"We began a commemorative tree program in 2008, with the goal of 370 trees to be planted by the end of 2010 for Greenwich's 370th anniversary," she said. "We're mainly concentrating in town on planting trees along streets, at libraries, schools and parks, where people can most enjoy them."

So far, 280 tree donations have been made, but the conservancy still needs 90 more to reach the 370 tree planting mark by the end of the year. All trees planted are guaranteed for two years and will be planted on public lands.

"It's a program that's had some fits and starts, but we've agreed that the town will be buying the trees and that we will be reaching out to local arborists to plant trees on public lands," Messina said. "We think it's an exciting way to commemorate a birth or graduation and in some cases, even as a way to honor a loved one who's passed on."

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