The Baird Foundation, Re-Tree/Buffalo Green Fund partner with Erie County Bicentennial Committee to plant 200 trees in celebration of 200 years
√ Re-Tree celebrating its 15th anniversary as Erie County celebrates 200th
Erie County’s bicentennial celebration is branching out across the county courtesy of a collaborative effort involving several partners.
Executive Mark Poloncarz was joined Friday at Chestnut Ridge Park by representatives of The Baird Foundation, Buffalo Green Fund President Molly White, Re-Tree Chairman Paul Maurer, and Erie County Parks Department staff to plant four trees near the recently opened Playground for All at the Park. The site is the first of 200 locations that will be planted by the Re-Tree program, a division of the Buffalo Green Fund nonprofit.
“By planting 200 trees in celebration of the county’s bicentennial, we are leaving a living marker for the future – creating a leafy legacy for future generations while building a greener community today. I thank The Baird Foundation for their support of this initiative and for their investment in our county’s future,” Poloncarz said. “In addition to the bicentennial commemoration, this is an ecological initiative to address climate change by planting more trees. We are encouraging all interested parties to participate, plant and join in the celebration of our bicentennial.”
Trees will be available for planting on public property sites that are requested by community organizations. Examples are town historical societies, municipal buildings, libraries and schools.
A portion of the funds will be used to continue a program that Re-Tree spearheaded, the CommuniTree Steward Program. This program trains people to be caretakers of the trees that have been planted over the years by Re-Tree, numbering 30,000. The program is a collaboration of The Buffalo Green Fund and the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County organization.
“In this time of the Erie County bicentennial, we proposed this green legacy of trees planted, one for every year of history in Erie County, as an investment that will endure long past the commemoration, which concludes in 2022,” White said. “We are so excited that this bicentennial celebration comes as we are also experiencing the 15th anniversary of the event that launched Re-Tree, the Oct. 12, 2006 surprise snowstorm. It allows us to plant more trees and also offer our ‘CommuniTree Steward’ courses for the general public at no charge, thanks to our generous funders!”
An announcement will be made in early 2022 that details the free tree stewarding courses.
Also participating in the kickoff tree planting at Chestnut Ridge Park were Erie County Parks Deputy Commissioner Mark Cornell and other parks’ staff, Baird Foundation trustee Art Cryer, and Buffalo Green Fund board members Cindy Kincaide and Jim Hornung.