Fayetteville named Tree City for 11th year, Manlius 7th

A group of preschoolers from Creative Environment Day School joined in the village's Arbor Day celebration April 28 at Veterans' Park. They brought with them Mr. Songflower (Tom Anzalone) who strummed his guitar and sang songs related to nature during the brief ceremony.

Department of Environmental Conservation representative John Graham presented Mayor Mark Olson with a Tree City flag from the National Arbor Day Foundation. The village has been named a Tree City for 11 years.

"Fayetteville is a real special place in all of New York state," Graham said. "[It] is one of less than 100 communities in New York that's recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City."

The town of Manlius, which celebrated Arbor Day April 29 at Woodland Elementary School in the East Syracuse Minoa School District, has been recognized by the foundation as a Tree City for seven years.

Olson read aloud two proclamations - one recognizing Arbor Day and the other honoring village historian Barbara Rivette for her longtime service - more than 31 years - to the village.

"[Barbara] really is creating history by keeping our history," Olson said.

Rivette, who was surprised by the official formality, said the village has always been kind to her.

"I enjoy doing [the work] for them," she said.

The Fayetteville ceremony focused on the Veterans' Park iconic elm tree, a European elm-on-American elm graft that has survived the scourge of Dutch elm disease for about 50 years. Rivette spoke about the tree's history, and Bartlett Tree Experts' Tom Mullarney explained the science that made the tree possible.

At ESM's Woodland Elementary, students also celebrated trees in song and poem. They planted three trees: an English oak, a read maple and a London planetree in the park across from their school. Bartlett Tree Experts pruned older trees nearby.

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