Boy Scouts from Norwalk Troop 2 assemble in front of the shed they painted in upgrading the Norwalk Tree Farm site.
Fairfield County’s first municipal tree farm—incorporating a solar-powered irrigation system--has been established by the Norwalk Tree Alliance at the Fodor Farm community garden off Flax Hill Road and is to be officially dedicated Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. by Mayor Richard Moccia.
The public is invited for light refreshments to be served on-site.
A third-of-an-acre with fencing and a shed to store equipment has been allocated for the farm where native species trees are already being grown from saplings to be strategically planted on civic properties like parks and right-of-ways.
An $8,000 America the Beautiful grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection—intended for urban forestry activities driven by nonprofits like the Norwalk Tree Alliance—initially funded the farm.
Under the terms of the grant, the money is matched dollar-for-dollar by in-kind contributions of goods or services contributed by volunteers of the NTA and the City of Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department which administers the property.
Thirty boy scouts in Norwalk’s Troop 2 helped prepare the site as an Eagle Scout Project headed by David Rodriguez this past June, painting the shed, spreading mulch, removing invasive plants and digging an irrigation ditch.
The technology of solar irrigation was adapted by the NTA’s president Dan Landau to develop an environmental-friendly process to water the trees at appropriate intervals. As components, the system utilizes solar panels with a timer, pump and moisture sensor.
Landau said the farm offers Norwalk’s residents and students opportunities for Volunteerism, particularly students at the city’s two high schools who might need community service hours for admission to colleges and universities.
The NTA was established in 2002. Support for Arbor Day and initiatives like an annual tree festival, a notable tree inventory and the Rosa Parks Arboretum have helped to give Norwalk recognition as Tree City USA for nine consecutive years.
Only 19 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities qualified for the award in 2013. Trees:
Trees are a way of showing we believe in tomorrow, the ultimate symbol of a healthy ecosystem.
They are a vital and renewable natural resource that contributes to the economy, protects the environment and enriches the quality of life.
They enhance the outdoor ambience.
They anchor the urban ecology and landscape.
They knit together the social fabric of neighborhoods, beautifying the landscape with their foliage and stateliness.
They demonstrably increase property values and provide energy savings.
They add to public revenue, attracting businesses and visitors.
They filter impurities from the air.
They provide shade.
They improve storm water management, helping to prevent soil erosion and flooding.
They yield fruit for humans and sustenance for birds and wildlife.
They define property lines.
They serve as fences and provide windbreaks.
And they serve as memorials and monuments.