TOWN COUNCILOR Edward Dombroski draws the winners in the Wakefield Rotary’s Arbor Day Tree Raffle last week at Beebe Library as Library Director Catherine McDonald and Rotary president-elect Gene Mullen look on. The Rotary made donations to cover the cost of two new tree plantings as well as a new tree to be planted on the grounds of the library. Raffle winners will get a Rotary donated street tree planted near their homes. Also on hand for the drawing were DPW Parks and Forestry Supervisor Dennis Fazio, Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio, Rotary President Bruce Donovan and Rotarians James Taylor, Paul Adams and James Fiztgerald.
WAKEFIELD – As part of its “100 Years of Service” celebration, Wakefield Rotary sponsored an Arbor Day Tree Raffle to promote and inform local residents of the town’s CommuniTree Program. The CommuniTree program was initiated by Town Councilor Ed Dombroski in 2019 to encourage residents to participate in the replanting of trees to help offset the growing number of trees that must be taken down due to damage and/or aging.
Wakefield Rotary made donations to the program to cover the cost of two new tree plantings in addition to having a new tree planted on the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library grounds in commemoration of the library’s 100th anniversary. The two raffle winners will get the Rotary-donated trees under the CommuniTree program.
The lucky raffle winners were drawn last week in ceremonies at Beebe Library. Kevin DiMambro of Robin Road and Shannon Wheel of Cedar Street were delighted to hear of their winning and will be contacting Wakefield’s Tree Warden, Dennis Fazio, to arrange for the site prep, delivery and planting of these new trees. The winners’ trees may be planted on the grass strip along the street, on the front lawn behind the sidewalk or at another town-owned location.
Over the last several years, Wakefield has faced a tree deficit; more street trees had to be removed than were planted. The CommuniTree Program, administered through the Department of Public Works, aims to reverse that trend.
While many trees throughout Wakefield have simply reached the end of their natural lifecycles, stress and storms have also impacted the health of the town’s forestry. Acid rain, winter road treatments, invasive moths, disease and storm damage have all contributed to the need for tree removal.
These environmental impacts, coupled with the limited lifespan of urban trees (many plantings that date back to the 1970s), have led to the current need to reverse this deficit trend for the town’s forestry. The goal of the CommuniTree program is to level the removal-to-planting ratio and pursue an annual surplus of planted trees. This will also help to ensure our Town’s environmental resiliency into the future.
This initiative allows residents, visitors, local organizations, and businesses to donate a tree to supplement the ongoing work of Wakefield’s Forestry Division. While donors will have a list of tree species from which to indicate a preference and can request a neighborhood in which the tree is planted, the Forestry Division will ultimately determine the viability of the requests based on surrounding plantings, placement of utilities, and sidewalk and green space limitations.
• A $300 donation sponsors the planting of one tree.
• Smaller contributions will be pooled to support planting in an area of need.
• For information on how to donate a tree, visit the town’s website at wakefield.ma.us/communitree.
• As with all other street trees, the Department of Public Works will secure and maintain the donated plantings.
• If your donation is a gift to acknowledge a birthday, anniversary, or other special event, please make an indication on the submission form. A certificate will be provided that you can present to your recipient.
• Donors will be contacted to discuss their requested tree species and proposed location prior to planting.