Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreational Management (PBRM) Patrick Sullivan joined with City Forester Alex Sherman and Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood for an Arbor Day in October celebration at Warner School.
Arbor Day was originally planned in April 2020; however, the onset of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic had postponed the celebration. This year the Springfield Garden Club has generously sponsored the tree planting.
The City of Springfield is very serious about its Urban Forest. This year over 400 trees have been planted throughout the city — representing a 50 percent increase over the prior year.
Mayor Sarno stated, “This year marks the 35th Arbor Day observance in our Springfield, which, thanks to the leadership of Parks Director Patrick Sullivan and our City Forester Alex Sherman Springfield continues to be a green community. Trees play a strategic part in the revitalization of our city. They are critical to our infrastructure by slowing rain down during storm events, cooling our streets by up to 8 degrees, and are one of the key components in abating climate change. This year I want to thank the Springfield Garden Club for helping us with two planting ceremonies. One here at Warner School dedicated to the memory of Clifford Clapprood our Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood’s father. The second planting will be at the Barney Carriage House in Forest Park to honor Everett Barney and the Springfield Garden Club.”
Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of PBRM said, “Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood had contacted me over a year ago when the tree she had planted years ago at her former Elementary School had been cut down. She has a fond memory of her father generously donating the tree to her class and planting it on Arbor Day. It seems only fitting to replant a tree in honor of her dad. It is great to be honoring Clifford Clapprood with this tree planting. Planting a tree, in a public space or one’s yard, is an excellent way to remember a family member or a significant event. ”
“I still remember back when I was in Elementary School my father, Clifford Clapprood Sr. who owned Greenway Nursery on Parker Street, came to school on Arbor Day and planted a tree. He spoke to the students about how vital trees are to our ecosystem and this new tree in his honor will help keep his message and that memory alive,” said Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood.
“I want to acknowledge and thank our dedicated Forestry Division for maintaining these vital resources for our city,” Mayor Sarno added. “I am proud of our city’s commitment to tree planting, conservation and environmental stewardship and I look forward to the day when we can all come together again and celebrate our city’s rich natural resources.”
City Forester Alex Sherman stated: “The City of Springfield is fortunate to have many historic trees throughout it’s’ neighborhoods and parks. Arbor Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on the legacy that former Springfield residents like Mr. Barney had on our natural environment and consider the environmental legacy we will leave for the future. This swamp white oak tree at the Barney Carriage House will allow us to contribute to that legacy and know that this tree will be enjoyed by future generations of Springfield residents and park visitors.”
The Springfield Garden Club has entered into an agreement with the city to host its monthly meetings at the Carriage House once the COVID 19 regulations have been lifted. Mayor Sarno stated, “I’m thrilled to welcome the Springfield Garden Club back to our city. Mr. Barney would have wanted them here and it is very fitting to host the club on his former estate. We greatly appreciate their efforts in assisting with the maintenance of gardens in the park and look forward to expanding their role as we develop the Horticulture and Learning Center planned at Forest Park.”
In honor of Arbor Day, Mayor Sarno sported his handcrafted wooden necktie , which was presented to the Mayor years ago by City of Springfield Building Supervisor John Bilodeau and retired City Forester Ed Casey.