By Katie Bisaro
It was a sunny, balmy day, unusual for November but perfect for a tree planting ceremony in the Kings Estates neighborhood in the Town of Warwick.
Members of the Town of Warwick Shade Tree Commission, including Commissioner Karen Emmerich, members of the Warwick Valley Gardeners, Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Town Parks Department and residents from Kings Estates were all on hand to ceremoniously plant a Kousa Dogwood tree at the playground near the circle on Marian Ct.
The ceremony was led by Patricia Conroy-Reinhardt of the Warwick Valley Gardeners who welcomed everyone and introduced several speakers. She also thanked the Warwick Rotary Club and Jansen’s Nursery in Florida, NY for their contributions to the Kings Estates tree planting project.
Terry Rizzotti, a 20-year resident of Kings Estates, thanked everyone for the gift of the tree to their community.
“This [Kings Estates] is our home and we love it…Trees are life and they give life, not only to us but to the animals around. I want to thank you all for doing this, for picking our park,” Rizzotti stated.
Town Historian Dr. Richard Hull was also in attendance and noted that the Town of Warwick Shade Tree Commission was the first tree commission established in New York State back in the 1960s. The Village of Warwick Shade Tree Commission was established shortly after.
“It’s great to see that the Commission continues to plant. I think planting these trees is our way of saying ‘Look to the future as well to the present’,” said Dr. Hull.
Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton explained that, originally, Kings Estates was supposed to have a Homeowners Association (HOA) to manage the common recreation areas but that was ultimately abandoned. The Town worked with the community to create a Park District in the neighborhood to make sure the residents have open space to enjoy. He also pointed out that, while the Tree Commission may be the oldest in the state, the Town is Warwick is new to the “Tree City” designation. He thanked Karen Emmerich and the rest of the Shade Tree Commission for working to attain Tree City status and noted that the Town is committed to continue the tree planting efforts.
The ceremony concluded as Warwick’s traditional Arbor Day festivities do, with the singing of “America the Beautiful.”.
Kings Estates residents Cindy Norman (left) & Terry Rizzotti ceremoniously plant a Kousa Dogwood in the community park on Marian Ct.
Patricia Conroy-Reinhardt of the Warwick Valley Gardeners thanked all those involved in planting a tree in the Kings Estates neighborhood in the Town of Warwick, including the Shade Tree Commission, Parks Dept. of the Dept. of Public Works, Warwick Valley Gardeners, Warwick Rotary Club, & Jansen Nursery in Florida, NY.