NORWALK, Conn. - The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Norwalk as a “Tree City USA” for the 10th consecutive year and acknowledged the city with a distinctive Growth Award for the eighth time.
The honors are reserved for communities across the U.S. that are committed to urban forestry and higher levels of tree care and innovation.
In Connecticut, fewer than 20 of the state’s 169 municipalities qualify for the “Tree City” designation and only two—Norwalk and Wethersfield--have been accredited for the growth distinction this year.
Qualifications are reviewed by the Forestry Division of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and State Forester Chris Donnelly.
Norwalk’s validation has been nourished by an active and strategic tree planting initiative over the years and creative approaches to advancing the tree canopy and environment like the Connecticut Tree Festival, which unfolds Saturday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Cranbury Park, 300 Grumman Ave., rain or shine.
The Connecticut Tree Festival meanwhile is a family funfest that combines educational exhibits that affirm the value of trees as community assets and tree care demonstrations with activities like rides in cherry-picker and a rope climb to the treetops for youngsters. Everything is free from admission to parking to picnic-style lunch to chances on door prizes.
In addition, the nonprofit Norwalk Tree Alliance maintains an inventory of notable trees citywide and has established Fairfield County’s first municipal tree farm at Fodor Farm to raise native species for parks and city property.