Volunteers needed to help plant trees on Friday in city of Gloversville

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Corporation is seeking volunteers to help plant four trees around the Farmers Market Pavilion Friday at 3 p.m.

During the event, GHNIC members, children from area schools and community volunteers will plant four silver red maple trees that were chosen for their fast growth, salt resistance, summer shading and ability to absorb rainwater before it hits the ground a press release stated.

The GHNIC received a $1,000 grant from the New York State Urban Forestry Council that will be used to hold the Arbor Day tree planting event and to create a volunteer urban forestry committee in the city.

The newly formed committee composed of community members will be tasked with increasing the number of street trees throughout the city to improve the overall appearance of the city while aiding the aging storm sewer infrastructure by absorbing falling rainwater.

GHNIC Executive Director Gregory Young said Monday that the Farmers Market Pavilion was selected as the inaugural tree planting location as the area sees a great deal of activity and there are proposals to connect the pavilion to the Rail Trail. Providing shade and greenery to the asphalt lot would benefit the trail if the connection is made.

“This is a great way to have a very immediate impact on the community. A lot of projects take time or cost a lot of money, planting a tree is a way to have a visible, tangible improvement over the course of an afternoon,” Young said.

Volunteers on Friday will be aided by prep work completed by the Department of Public Works to clear asphalt in the area where the trees will be planted. Young added that a few volunteers will start digging holes for the four trees in advance of Friday’s event to lighten the afternoon’s work.

Young estimated the tree planting will take about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the number of volunteers, noting that anyone who is unable to support the initiative with manual labor can participate by volunteering on the urban forestry committee.

The committee will consist of both horticulturists and volunteers using in-kind labor for tree plantings. The committee will collaborate with city departments and community groups to determine where street trees could be most beneficial.

The group will also work to educate city residents about the benefits of street trees to encourage homeowners to adopt suitable trees of their own. The committee will draw on the GHNIC for financial and administrative resources. The GHNIC is not-for-profit organization with a mission of creating thriving neighborhoods in the city.

The long-term vision for the committee is to build capacity for a tree inventory and eventually a subsidized street tree planting program.

“Street trees make a huge difference in the quality of any neighborhood. They mitigate the summer heat, block the winter wind, and absorb tons of carbon from the atmosphere,” GHNIC Board President and Councilman-at-Large Vincent DeSantis said in a prepared statement.

To volunteer for the Arbor Day planting or to join the urban forestry committee, contact Executive Director Gregory Young at (518) 620-6276.

By Kerry Minor

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