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Tree-Top Rides Return To Tree Festival In Norwalk's Cranbury Park

The Connecticut Tree Festival includes the junior arborist tree-climb. Photo Credit: Contributed
Two cherry-pickers will carry kids in an arc across the Great Lawn in the park, Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. – The Connecticut Tree Festival returns Saturday, May 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with its two popular rides to the treetops of Norwalk’s Cranbury Park for young people.

The family-oriented festival unfolds rain or shine against a backdrop of the U.S. Arbor Day Foundation’s selection of Norwalk as a Tree City USA for the 11th consecutive year and for a Growth Award for the ninth year.

Admission, parking and a picnic lunch are all free.

Only 18 of Connecticut’s 169 communities qualified as a Tree City, and only two for the growth award, both recognizing an uncommon commitment to preserving the urban tree canopy and celebrating Arbor Day.

One of the rides is the junior arborist tree-climb conducted under the direction of Mike Almstead of Almstead Tree & Shrub Care, securely taking children, wearing a helmet, to the leafy heights of an oak tree in a two-pulley harness. At the same time two cherry-pickers provided by The Care of Trees under the direction of Rich Whitehead will carry the kids in an arc across the Great Lawn in the park, strapped into the bucket and accompanied by a supervisor.

The day showcases a diverse lineup of ecologically-oriented exhibitors encircled by hands-on demonstrations by experts in tree-planting and care. Face-painting and crafts will also be available. Exhibitors pay nothing for space or their booths, nor are they permitted to sell products or services on the property. Last year’s festival drew more than 2,200 attendees.

A Flowering Tree Photo Contest, sponsored by the Norwalk Tree Alliance, has been expanded to provide a special prize category for images taken by children 12 years of age and younger; the photos will be displayed at the festival.  For details on the contest click here .

An added dimension to the festival is a showing of painting, sculpture and mixed media from Wilton’s G&B Cultural Center in the Gallaher Mansion and on the terrace in the park. The exhibit, called “A Community of Trees,” features the work of younger artists.

A special ceremony honoring graphic artist Ron Muller as the Norwalk Tree Alliance’s Tree Advocate of 2015 will also take place during the festival.

Cranbury Park is at 300 Grumman Ave., Norwalk.

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