ARPA: Town Officials Seek To Re-Plant Trees Along South Avenue


South Avenue on Aug. 22, 2022. Credit: Michael Dinan

Town officials are planning to allocate $200,000 in federal funds toward a tree restoration project along South Avenue.

About 23 years ago, the New Canaan Beautification League launched a ‘South Avenue Re-Leaf Project’ designed to improve the tree canopy along the major gateway to town, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.

Yet just the first phase of that project was completed, from Cherry to Bank Streets, and a second phase extending south to Waveny never was taken up, Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen at their Aug. 9 meeting.

“So the thought is as an anchor for a portion of this money on the town road side, would be to re-establish any trees that may have been lost in that timeframe in the first stretch, then establish trees from Bank Street down to Waveny,” Mann told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

“If you look along South Avenue it’s quite denuded. And then from there, look to other areas in town that we are looking at. Other gateways to town where we’d like to beautify or where we’re losing significant tree cover. A lot of trees that we take down are inside a canopy area. So it’s not necessarily noticeable, but there are some—specifically along Ponus Ridge and other areas—whereby when we take them down, it’s noticeable. We can actually notice when the trees are gone. So it would be nice to have monies available to then re-plant those trees.”

The selectmen are expected to take up the $200,000 request for the tree plantings at their regular meeting Tuesday, as part of a larger package of recommended American Rescue Plan Act funding allocations. The work would include redoing some plantings that the Beautification League oversaw during the first phase, and then completing the second phase, Mann said.

He noted that the Beautification League and tree warden have already studied South Avenue, noting points where specific types of trees should be planted, and that their recommendations will be passed on to the state arborist and other state officials for their approval, since South Avenue doubles as Routes 124 (and 106 for certain stretches).

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan noted during the discussion, “We spend a lot of money taking trees down. We don’t spend a lot putting trees up.”

Mann noted that some work is already underway in Waveny. 

“Planet New Canaan and our Sustainability Committee got a grant for certain work in Waveny, but we are still losing certain trees throughout,” Mann said. “So we are looking at wherever we lose a significant tree or prior to losing a significant tree, we will put something in its place as we’ve been doing at Waveny.”

He added that the tree re-planting funds would address losses at town parks and properties, for example “ any of the buildings that we have or Irwin, Waveny, Mead Park, Bristow—any areas that are seeing a loss of trees.”

“We just lost a very significant tree down at the pond at Waveny,” Mann said. “That’s out to bid right now and will come back to you in the next two weeks.”

2 thoughts on “ARPA: Town Officials Seek To Re-Plant Trees Along South Avenue

  1. Amazing, we are so blessed to live here! I hope they will consider a variety of trees as I recall a gardening show host who reflected on the risks of planting all the same type of tree along boulevards. Apparently the Dutch Elm Tree Disease destroyed a lot of pretty main streets in the 1970’s. I also see that the Emerald Ash Borer has wreaked havoc in our area. But, again, thank you! I am sure the walkers will appreciate the shade in future summers!

  2. Yes, love the idea of planting native trees on South Ave & please consider adding native trees down Farm Road as well.
    Frequently walk my dog on this loop and adding a few well placed garbage receptacles may also help reduce litter.

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