New Officers and Board Members Elected at Annual Meeting
The Norwalk Tree Alliance held its Annual Meeting on October 26th at The Barn at Fodor Farm. After a brief meeting of the Board of Directors, elections were held. Officers were elected for a one-year term. Andrew Strauss was elected President. Vice President Mike Yeosock and Secretary Deborah Burnaman were re-elected, and Susan Simmons was elected as Treasurer.
To the Board of Directors, Andy Bretell, Allan Broadbent, Tim Carney and Rob Hutchinson were added for two-year terms. Rob Frazier, Dan Landau, Ray Rumer, Paul Sotnik and Rich Whitehead will continue as members of the board for another year. The total number of board members, which include officers, is 13.
A special exhibit of photos at the meeting from the 2015 CT Tree Festival served as a tribute to the memory of Hal Alvord, the Alliance’s President for the preceding year. Hal passed away on September 30th. In addressing NTA members, Strauss noted the contribution that Hal had made to the organization in building existing programs and leading new initiatives. “Hal set a high standard of leadership in just one year,” said Strauss. “I’m committed to continue his program of revitalizing our organization and expanding our outreach through education and advocacy.”
In his report to NTA members, Strauss noted the Alliance is working with the Third Taxing District for a third year in a row, with a $2,500 annual grant to plant approximately 20 trees in East Norwalk. The plantings will consist of such trees as maples and oaks along residential streets, as part of NTA’s mission to enhance Norwalk’s tree canopy. He also shared a letter from Senator Blumenthal in August, congratulating the City of Norwalk’s earning the Tree City USA recognition of the National Arbor Day Foundation, for 12 consecutive years. NTA continues as an active partner with the City in achieving this award, including The Longest Active Growth Award.
In other business, signage was revamped and new trees planted at the Rosa Parks Arboretum behind Columbus Magnet School. At the NTA Tree Farm at Fodor Farm, the tree inventory greatly was expanded with enhancements to its irrigation system. A maple tree was planted in April at the Brookside School in a continuation of the Arbor Day celebrations sponsored by the NTA throughout Norwalk’s elementary schools. Strauss noted the Alliance’s commitment to expanding its education outreach programs, which included pruning demonstrations for homeowners at the Rosa Parks Arboretum last month.
Following the Annual Meeting, wine and cheese was served to members and the many guests from The Barn’s massive service island, with Susan Simmon’s spectacular Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) bonsai tree, in full fall color, on display as the centerpiece.