NORWALK, Conn. -- Members of the Norwalk community gathered at Wolfpit Elementary School Friday to celebrate Arbor Day with a ceremony and the planting of a tree.
The celebration was hosted by the Norwalk Tree Advisory Committee, the Norwalk Tree Alliance and Norwalk Public Schools. After first-grade teacher April Brown led the students in "The Star-Spangled Banner," there were remarks about trees and their significance, a reading of Harry Behn's poem "Trees" by fifth-grader Noah Maldonado, and the planting of a red maple donated by Almstead Tree and Shrub Care.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling read a proclamation about Arbor Day and spoke about the importance of trees. He also shared a story of when he planted a red maple when he was younger, and how it grew into a beautiful tree.
"I know you're going to be excited to watch your tree grow, and I hope that each one of you, when you leave Wolfpit, come back and take a look at that tree and watch how magnificent it becomes over the years."
"It's so very special, as we work with you, as we learn about science, as we learn about our natural resources, that we really turn around and look at what's right in front of us, which is our trees, which are a wonderful natural resource," said Schools Superintendent Manuel Rivera.
Dan Landau, president of the Norwalk Tree Alliance, said this is the tenth tree the alliance has planted at a Norwalk school. He invited the students to the Connecticut Tree Festival, which will be held in Cranbury Park on May 17. He also shared a story of a recent trip to west Texas, where there are few trees.
"Looking around here I see the trees we take for granted. There are none that grow out there, so we should be very proud of where we live," Landau said.
The students also recently took part in a tree-themed poster contest sponsored by the DoubleTree Hotel. The winners of the contest were Natalia Martinez, Ally Lanzarotto, Elena Abshire, Lindsay Caruso, Christian Dupree and Trisha Lopez. Double Tree general manager Gerardo Guerrero thanked the students for their posters.
"The well-being of the planet is very important to us at DoubleTree and we hope that all of us continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure that our children's children can enjoy a greener planet in the future," Guerrero said.
Following the ceremony, students were given seedling bags from Stew Leonard's so they could plant trees at home.