The Botanical Garden tree nursery officially moved to its new home on the grounds of the North Tonawanda Wastewater Treatment Plant on Saturday.
Members of the North Tonawanda Environmental Committee, the Civil Service Employee Association, along with North Tonawanda Parks and Recreation Director Patty Brosius and Superintendent of Water/Wastewater Bill Davignon, came together to help transfer approximately 80 trees from 2.5-gallon pots to 13-gallon pots for planting.
"I am very happy to see this project continued here in North Tonawanda," North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas said. "This location is perfect for the security of the trees - not to mention the wastewater treatment plant providing treated water."
He added, "North Tonawanda is recognized for our commitment to green spaces and, specifically, trees. With the Ash trees in trouble, I believe the people of our community will appreciate the work being done to continue supplying trees to offset the unfortunate losses we are seeing countywide."
Members of the Environmental Committee obtained 10 sycamore, red oak, white oak, crabapple and tulip poplar trees for planting in April at the Botanical Gardens.
An additional 60 sycamore, butternut and bayberry seedlings were planted in July. The seedlings were provided by Robbyn Drake, director of education and training at Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the expansion of clean waterways, greenways and parks throughout the region.
The tree nursery was initiated through the efforts of the Environmental Committee, which began under former North Tonawanda mayor, now current New York State Sen. Robert G. Ortt. The intention was to make available a gradual supply of trees for the municipality, if needed, as well as provide an educational experience for students at a low cost to the city.
PICTURED: Members of the North Tonawanda Environmental Committee, the Civil Service Employee Association and city officials helped prepare trees for the Botanical Garden tree nursery on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are, Civil Service Employee Association union member Glenn Axberg, Superintendent of Water Works Department Bill Davignon, CSEA union member Brian Kosikowski, CSEA union member and environmental committee member Dave Conti, Parks and Recreation Supervisor Patty Brosius, and Environmental Committee member Paul Lehman.