June M. Hoye
In 2010, the construction of the railroad bridge along Niantic Bay, had curtailed the main source of income for the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation, the dedications of benches and plaques on the Boardwalk. Consequently, the Foundation had been looking for an alternate source of income, which would allow the Foundation to donate back to the town the income it generates for various projects connected with the Boardwalk and beyond the Boardwalk
By chance, my husband John and I became aware of a program in South Windsor of Memorial Tree Planting. This town had developed a program that allowed residents or businesses to buy ornamental trees for planting on public property.
In September, my husband, John, and I met with Mr. Rechle, the Tree Warden of South Windsor, to receive more information on the project.
In 2011, we met with the First Selectman, Paul Formica, but the time for such a project was not optimal. Then, in 2014, we again brought up the idea to the Director of the Parks and Recreation Dept., Dave Putnam. It was only through his commitment to public-private partnerships that this project was able to be developed. In 2015, we dedicated the first tree at East Lyme Town Hall.
When we began, we named the program Trees for Tomorrow. However, in2016, we were notified by an organization in Wisconsin, that they had patented that name. So, we changed to our present name- The Promise of Tomorrow’s Trees.
Now, in 2020, we can report that we have planted forty-one trees throughout the town. Cini Park, McCook Park, McCook Path, McCook -Columbus Ave., McCook- Entrance, E.L. Library, Niantic Center School, and E.L. Town Hall are all locations where trees have been planted. Areas where trees are still available to be planted are McCook-Bandstand, Bridebrook Park, Brookside Farm Museum, Samuel Smith House, Niantic Center School, and Flanders School.
A contribution of $600 for a tree will cover the cost of the tree, planting, an 8”x4” plaque, a base, and a water bag to assist in the stabilization of the tree. Since the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation is a non-profit 401c, contributions are tax deductible.
June Hoye is the chairperson for the project in partnership with Dave Putnam, the Director of Parks and Recreation. Her committee includes Carol Marelli and Bill Rinoski-administration.
Application forms will be available at: East Lyme Town Hall-Town Clerk’s Office, East Lyme Parks and Rec., East Lyme Library, and the E.L. Book Barn. They also can be found on the Trust web-site: www.publictrustfoundation.org
These application forms will also list other areas for planting that are still available.
Nelson Henderson has written, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” We are proud to have started this shade for future generations.
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