Re-Tree WNY is organizing its largest day of tree planting and beautification since its start in April 2007. This month, 400 trees will be planted along South Park Avenue between Abbott Road and Dorrance Avenue starting next Saturday, October 30. The street is being re-milled and paved, with new benches, streetlights, and crosswalks installed as part of the South Park Revitalization Initiative.
Chairman Paul Maurer, Congressman Brian Higgins, Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, NY State Assemblyman Mark Schroeder, Councilman Mickey Kearns and Re-Tree WNY board members gathered at 2227 South Park on Thursday and presented the public with details of this historic tree planting project and to call for volunteers to ensure its success.
Re-Tree Chairman Paul Maurer said “We figured it will take about four hours to complete the project, assuming we get the several hundred people we need to plant these bare-root trees.”
As an added incentive to get the amount of volunteers needed, special shirts will be created for each of the teams reforesting their section of the two-mile stretch of road. Consumers Beverages and North American Breweries will provide several hundred color shirts: orange, green, and blue beer-branded shirts for the over 21 year-old workers; yellow soft drink shirts will be for those volunteers that are under 21. “To ensure we have enough ordered for everyone, and that we have enough volunteers, we are asking people to go to any of our 16 stores in Western New York to sign-up to volunteer,” said Consumers Beverages owner Neil Kavanaugh, “We’ll sign you up with just your name and e-mail address/phone and size; then you show up the morning of the planting at South Park High School where you’ll get your shirt”. Consumers and North American Breweries are also throwing a party for the volunteers upon completion of the project that day.
The planting begins on Saturday October 30th at 8:30 am on the South Park Avenue side of South Park High School. Eight Re-Tree WNY zone team leaders will train their group of volunteers to put in the five main varieties of bare root trees being planted. Types of trees being planted include: London Planetree, Ivory Silk Lilac, Swamp White Oak, English Oak, and Gingko.
“This planting will raise the value of real estate on South Park Avenue and enhance the attractiveness of the commercial district, “said Mickey Kearns, Councilman from Buffalo’s South District.
“After planting over 60 trees throughout South Buffalo last year with Re-Tree WNY and other volunteer organizations, we were eager to work with them in partnership with the South Park Avenue Revitalization Project,” said Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, who was key in acquiring federal stimulus funding for the South Park Revitalization Initiative. “Already, since we started the revitalization project, we’ve created new jobs and spurred private investment along the avenue. The freshly planted trees will literally bring new life to an aging commercial strip and contribute to our future success, as we work to spark the economic rebirth of South Park Avenue.”
Kennedy explained that the street is also being re-milled and paved, with new benches, streetlights, and crosswalks installed as part of the South Park Revitalization Initiative.
“This is a perfect partnership between a project transforming the South Buffalo business district along South Park Ave, under the great leadership of Legislator Tim Kennedy, and an initiative transforming the landscape of Western New York neighborhoods under the direction of Re-Tree WNY Chairman Paul Maurer and the hundreds of volunteers who help,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.
“This project is an excellent example of how government, the private sector, non-profits, and volunteers can work together to make a visible and long-lasting improvement to a neighborhood,” said NYS Assemblyman Mark Schroeder. “These beautiful trees will make a significant impact on South Park Avenue that will only grow with time.”
“The 2006 October surprise storm had a devastating impact on the city’s urban forest, damaging over 90% of the city’s 70,000 trees,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “Re-Tree WNY has done an excellent job in helping to restore the city’s pre-storm conditions, by planting thousands of new trees across Buffalo. They have been a great partner in our reforestation efforts and I thank them for their dedication.”
Consumer Beverages headquarters is located on South Park Avenue and has been in business since 1948. North American Breweries is headquartered in Buffalo and brews the Labatt, Genesee, Dundee’s, and Seagrams beverage brands.