The head of New Canaan’s Public Tree Board gathered with a selectman and small group of locals on the windswept field by Waveny House on Friday morning to dedicate a newly planted copper beech tree to the memory a civic-minded New Canaan man.
This year’s Arbor Day planting was dedicated to Ted Winpenny, a man whose numerous activities in New Canaan made it difficult for the board to decide just where to plan the tree, board Chairman Tom Cronin said.
“Do we plant the tree at Mead Park, where Ted helped organize the annual Labor Day doubles tennis tournaments?” Cronin said, as Winpenny’s daughter and grandson, Belinda and Benjamin Paris, stood nearby. “Do we plant it on Cherry Street, in front of the New Canaan Community Foundation that he helped to establish, which is an organization that has soon will hit a milestone of more than $10 million to local charities since its inception? Do we plant near Waveny Care Center, where Ted volunteered for so many years? Do we plant on Land Trust property, an organization that he was involved in from the beginning, in the late-‘60s?”
Ultimately, Cronin said, with advice from Tree Warden Bruce Pauley, the town settled on a spot just west of Waveny House, where a European beech had stood for years.
“We considered this spot most appropriate to honor him, as generations of New Canaanites will sit under this tree as they enjoy the Family Fourth celebration that Mr. Winpenny was so actively involved in organizing.”
The ceremony featured a proclamation read on behalf of the first selectman by Selectman Beth Jones, and symbolic shoveling of dirt to plant the tree by the Paris family members on hand. Also present were Sandy Nissley and Sally Hines.
The tree was acquired by the town with help from Geiger’s. Sonya Finch of the Frogtown Road nursery was on hand, as well.