Christine Names has been selected as Norwalk’s Tree Advocate of the Year for 2014 and is to be officially recognized in a civic ceremony at the Connecticut Tree Festival in Cranbury Park May 17.
The award is conferred annually by the nonprofit Norwalk Tree Alliance to cite an individual for maintaining and preserving the urban tree canopy and elevating public awareness about how trees endow the quality of life.
Names is president of the Norwalk Association of Silvermine Homeowners, a director of the Norwalk Tree Alliance, a member of Norwalk’s Tree Advisory Committee and a former member of Keep Norwalk Beautiful and the Neighborhood Preservation Committee.
Where she has especially distinguished herself as a volunteer since retiring from human resources work in the business world is in creating seamless administrative machinery—fundraising and recruiting, for example—to run activities like the Connecticut Tree Festival which in a single Saturday has drawn up to 2,000 attendees with good weather over the past seven years.
Why has she immersed herself in community activities? “Just to give something back,” she explains.
The festival is a family-oriented outing, crammed with entertainment and activities like a treasure hunt, face-painting, a tree-rope climb, a sweep of the tree tops in cherry-picker and exhibits to promote the ecology and the value of trees as natural resources. It runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine and is totally free of charge, no cost for admission, parking and picnic-style lunch.
Up to 40 organizations are typically represented in the festival. The day showcases an array of environmentally oriented exhibits and offers demonstrations in urban tree care by accredited arborists who dispense their technical expertise free of charge and will, for example, identify the tree in your backyard if you bring in a leaf or twig.
To go on display at the Norwalk Tree Alliance booth are the winners of the NTA’s second annual photo contest designed to capture the spring vitality and splendor of flowering trees in Fairfield County. Information is available online www.norwalktreealliance.org, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203.847.1600.