Despite inclement weather and foreboding skies, village officials held the annual Arbor Day Celebration April 29. This year marks the 25th year Baldwinsville qualifies as a "Tree City" village.
Tree City USA is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation to promote tree education and conservation.
The Arbor Day Foundation website boasts 15 reasons for a community to become a Tree City including aesthetics, preference for grant money for forestry and promoting tree education in the community.
The Tree City status is attainable by meeting four requirements. The town must have a board of members whose concerns are tree management, a tree protection ordinance, contribute two dollars per capita to trees and finally, have an Arbor Day celebration.
For this year's festivities, officials planted two Green Mountain Sugar Maples at 5 and 7 Canton St. in the village. Benton Schlater, a member of the tree committee, petitioned for the sugar maples.
"I actually wanted these trees to be sugar maples because we're losing a lot of our big sugar maples around town to age," he said.
The sugar maples can reach up to 80 feet, and live to be up to 200 years old according to John Graham, forester for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. It is also the official tree of New York State.
Baldwinsville commits $23,000 to the upkeep, replacement and management of trees throughout the town. This money reflects the $2 per person requirement from the Arbor Day Foundation to maintain Tree City status. More money may be allocated from sidewalk funds and other maintenance budgets.
"We would like to start a tree stewardship committee to help maintain some of the smaller trees around our community," Schlater said.
Baldwinsville is tied for seventh place in New York State for longest participation in the Tree City USA program.