‘Rallying Behind’

City Celebrates Arbor Day, Plants Trees

Middle from left, Dan Stone, city arborist, and Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, planting a heritage river birch tree with young members of Stone’s family during the city’s annual Arbor Day celebration at the overlook along the bike trail of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk Wednesday. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

When Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi announced in February that he wasn’t going to be running for re-election after 20 years in office, he probably knew his final year would be filled with several activities he would be doing for the last time.

The city’s annual Arbor Day celebration Wednesday might have been the first of the many last time activities Teresi will experience during his final year as the city’s mayor.

Dan Stone, city arborist, thanked Teresi for his dedication toward the urban forest in the city for the past 20 years. Stone honored Teresi by making him the focus of his annual “Arbor Day Rhyme” that Stone creates each year to commemorate Arbor Day.

Stone also thanked the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for increasing the funding they annual provide to the city for the urban forest program.

Usually the foundation donates $5,000 to the city, but because of the cutting down of 200 ash trees within the last year because of the invasive species known as the emerald ash borer, the charitable community organization increased the funding to $7,000 this year. Teresi also thanked the foundation and the community for rallying behind the challenges city officials faced because of the emerald ash borer and having to cut down the trees.

For the first time, Jamestown received the honor of being a Sterling Tree City USA Community, Stone said. Only 10 communities in New York state received the sterling designation. For the 38th consecutive year, Jamestown has been designated a Tree City USA and for the 10th year overall has also received the Growth Award classification.

During the Arbor Day celebration, Stone, Teresi and young members of Stone’s family participated in the tree planting ceremony. Stone said the tree was a heritage river birch, which was planted at the overlook area along the bike trail of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.

Stone ended the ceremony the same way he usually does by stating, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time to plant a tree is today.”

People can make a tax-deductible donation toward the city’s urban forestry fund through the Community Foundation by sending a check to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St., Jamestown, NY 14701. For more information, visit crcfonline.org or jamestownny.net.