NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Tree Alliance is getting ready to mount identification signs on select trees in four local parks.
The alliance hopes to make the public more aware of the diversity and value that can come from an urban forest.
At least 85 trees are tagged and will be mounted with signs at Calf Pasture Beach, Mathews Park, Rosa Parks Arboretum, and Shady Beach. The trees are from 24 different species, including black cherry, American basswood, European beech, scarlet oak, and all the native maple varieties.
The campaign has been funded through a $7,000 grant through the America the Beautiful initiative, which was arranged by the Forestry Division of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Dan Landau, president of Norwalk Tree Alliance, said volunteers chose the trees based on their visibility and diversity. The signs places will be four inches by six inches, and will be inscribed with both the common and the Latin names of the trees, along with the species characteristics, line drawings of the leaf and needle configurations. They will also each have a Quick Response Code for smartphone users to obtain more information.
Those working on the project include Ron Muller, graphics designer; Bill Levin, retired Trumbull town planner and tree identification authority; Jean McAndrew, Norwalk Tree Alliance treasurer; Judith Rudikoff, Nancy Robinson, and Phil Taylor. The work will likely be complete in the fall.
Another Norwalk Tree Alliance undertaking is the Notable Tree Inventory. It lists almost 100 trees in the community, and gives details such as their size, age, beauty, rarity, and historical significance.
Landau said the U.S. Agriculture Department’s recent study reported that researchers using computer simulations have found that trees help filter up to 17.4 million tons of air pollutants per year, which leads to saving as many as 850 lives and $7 billion in healthcare costs.
“With more than 80 percent of Americans living in urban areas, the research underscores how truly essential urban forests are to people across the nation,” he said.”