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Art Show Raises $2,300 For Urban Forestry Fund

Dan Stone, City of Jamestown parks manager and arborist; Leslie Calimeri, Chautauqua Art Gallery owner and artist; Tory Irgang, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation executive director; and Doug Hoisington, retired City of Jamestown arborist and Urban Forestry Fund founder, pose with Calimeri's artwork that inspired an art show dedicated to the Third Street Oak trees. Submitted photo

Nearly a dozen artists inspired by the Cathedral Oaks that once lined Third Street in the City of Jamestown have donated proceeds from their sold artwork to support Jamestown’s urban forest.

Organizers of the Third Street Oak Trees Art Show donated $2,341 to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for its Urban Forestry Fund to be used for the planning and caring of trees throughout the city.

The art show was sponsored by the Community Foundation and Chautauqua Art Gallery. Artists who sold pieces to support the fund include,

According to Leslie Calimeri, Chautauqua Art Gallery owner and artist, of the 40 original pieces of artwork, half were sold during the online exhibit that ran through Jan. 1.

“This art show was a great opportunity to talk to people about the trees,” Calimeri said. “The oaks were a really unifying part of our community and it was incredible to see how people came together to support the future of our city’s trees.”

Artists who sold pieces to support the fund include, Calimeri, Cathy Panebianco, Cynthia Norton, Deb Eck, Kate Caswell, Missy Paterniti, Molly Strong, Susan Simmons and Wendy Bale.

In addition to connecting with local artists and admirers of the oaks, Calimeri had the unique opportunity to work with the City of Jamestown Parks Recreation and Conservation Department to better understand the work being done throughout the city.

“The impact of the show has just been incredible,” said Dan Stone, City of Jamestown parks manager and arborist. “The dollars that were raised through the art show will ultimately help the city’s tree program and our continued efforts in being recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation.”

For 40 years, the City of Jamestown has been named a Tree City USA, a program sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Stone says the city is currently going through the process of applying for a Growth Award from the Foundation which recognizes major milestones, high levels of tree care and community engagement that build sustainable community forest programs over the long term.

“Our longstanding partnership with the Community Foundation has been an instrumental piece of our program’s success,” Stone said. “Both through its Fund for the Region and Urban Forestry Fund.”

The Urban Forestry Fund was established in 1992 by then city arborist Doug Hoisington to ensure there were dollars available each year to plant and maintain trees throughout the City of Jamestown’s streets and parks.

Since its initial gifts of $1,190 that first year the fund is currently valued at $97,000.

“Field of Interest funds, like the Urban Forestry Fund, are a great way to bring donors right to the issues that move them,” said Tory Irgang, Community Foundation executive director. “We are grateful to those charitably minded individuals, like Doug, who are passionate about specific areas of community life and want to make a lasting impact.”

The Foundation administers many Field of Interest funds that also focus on animal welfare, education, youth and healthcare.

“It makes me feel good to see what has been happening,” said Hoisington. “Dan has an incredible privilege of planting the trees that will make a lasting impact on future generations.”

For those still looking to own a piece of the Third Street Oak trees, various art prints and notecards are available through Calimeri’s gallery.

To support The Urban Forestry Fund, tax deductible donations can be made via credit card by visiting crcfonline.org or by mailing a check to the Foundation’s office at 418 Spring Street in Jamestown.

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