In observance of Arbor Day, the Sea Cliff Beautification Committee hosted a tree planting at Geogehan Park this past Friday. The springtime tradition, in which the Sea Cliff School second grade plays the central role, takes place at one of the village's many parks each year. For the past 12 years, the event has been organized by Beautification Committee member Debra Dumas.
"The park varies year by year, according to need." Ms. Dumas explained. "We have planted oaks in Central Park, a Hazelnut in Central Park (in honor of Cliff Davis, who had just passed away), and other assorted trees in Memorial Park, Prospect Park, Geogehan Park, and Marden Triangle which lost all it's trees some years back - and so we have planted a copper beech, a couple of oaks, and three flowering cherries all within the past 8 years."
The event has become an important part of the Sea Cliff School second grade curriculum, as it has provided important lessons regarding ecology, and has been aligned with the students' poetry unit.
On Friday afternoon, children walked to the park at Summit and Roslyn Avenues, where they gathered to recite poetry, sing songs, and help finish planting the tree (a sugar maple) by covering the root ball with soil and mulch. Gary Martin, of Martin Viette Nursery, provided the tree and assisted in its planting, while local guitarist and singer Kris Rice was on hand to lead children in singing environmentally themed songs.
"It is a really sweet, simple affair," explained Ms. Dumas, "I always remind the children to check on the tree they helped plant, and remember it as they both grow up together."