On its continuing path towards becoming an official Tree City USA Community, Nassau County celebrated its first official Arbor Day celebration on April 26 with the ceremonial tree planting by County Executive Laura Curran and members of the newly installed Nassau County Tree Advisory Committee. The tree, an Amelanchiar canadensis, commonly called a Serviceberry tree, was planted at the historic Theodore Roosevelt Nassau Executive and Legislature Building at 1550 Franklin Avenue in Mineola. The tree was selected by the Nassau County DPW Landscape Architect, Richard Arnedos.
The program began with introductory remarks by Robert Sympson, President of the Nassau County Tree Advisory Board that was formally established in January. In addition to Robert Sympson, members of the newly created board include Robert Alvey, Richard Arnedos, Vincent Drzewucki, Lawrence Fernandez, Kathleen Gaffney, Norma Gonsalvez, and Paul Rut. This was a culmination of an effort initiated in 2008 by the local chapter of the NYS ReLeaf Committee associated with the New York State Urban Forestry Council. The Tree Ordinance was passed by the Nassau County Legislature in October of 2008 with a provision to establish a Tree Advisory Board.
Ten years passed before former Legislator Norma Gonsalvez and former President of Nassau Cornell Cooperative Extension Nancy Youngfert in December 2017 proposed volunteer members for the board and received approval by the then County Executive. The committee is currently working on an update to finalize the Nassau County Tree Management Plan.
Following President Sympson’s opening remarks, County Executive Laura Curran spoke and thanked everyone for their dedication to improving Nassau County’s tree environment and their assistance in helping prepare a professional tree management plan that can be used as a guide to benefit all communities within the County. It is part of a sustainable future for the County. County Executive Curran provided a Proclamation on the Arbor Day event and then joined in ceremonial planting of the tree by a corner of the Executive building.