NORWALK, Conn. - Christine Names, Norwalk’s Tree Advocate of the Year for 2014, will be officially recognized in a civic ceremony at the Connecticut Tree Festival in Cranbury Park on May 17.
The award is conferred annually by the nonprofit Norwalk Tree Alliance to cite an individual for maintaining and preserving the urban tree canopy and elevating public awareness about how trees endow the quality of life in the city.
Names is president of the Norwalk Association of Silvermine Homeowners, a director of the Norwalk Tree Alliance, a member of Norwalk’s Tree Advisory Committee and a former member of Keep Norwalk Beautiful and the Neighborhood Preservation Committee.
She has distinguished herself as a volunteer since retiring from human resources work in the business world. She has created seamless administrative machinery—fundraising and recruiting, for example—to run activities such as the Connecticut Tree Festival, which in a single Saturday has drawn up to 2,000 attendees with good weather over the past seven years.
Why has she immersed herself in community activities? “Just to give something back,” she said.
The festival on May 17 is a family-oriented outing, crammed with entertainment and activities such as a treasure hunt, face-painting, a tree-rope climb, a sweep of the tree tops in cherry-picker and exhibits to promote the ecology and the value of trees as natural resources. It runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine and is free of charge, with no cost for admission, parking and picnic-style lunch.
Up to 40 organizations are typically represented in the festival. The day showcases an array of environmentally oriented exhibits and offers demonstrations in urban tree care by accredited arborists who dispense their technical expertise free of charge and will, for example, identify the tree in your backyard if you bring in a leaf or twig.
On display at the Norwalk Tree Alliance booth will be the winners of the NTA’s second annual photo contest designed to capture the spring vitality and splendor of flowering trees in Fairfield County.
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