By John Alexander
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
You know that spring has finally arrived when you stroll down the charming streets of Cobble Hill and see the cherry blossoms in full bloom along with fragrant dogwoods and sweet magnolia trees. Another sure sign of spring is the arrival of the annual Cobble Hill Tree Fund Plant Sale, this year scheduled for Saturday, May 6, at the corner of Congress and Clinton streets from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Cobble Hill Tree Fund’s roots reach back to 1960, when Clinton Street resident George Polimeros encouraged neighbors in the community to join his tree-planting campaign. He would go door-to-door, asking residents if they would like a tree planted on the sidewalk outside their house. Today, 15 volunteer members including co-chairs Georgia Willett and Tom Synnott oversee the Fund.
The Cobble Hill Tree Fund is dedicated to planting trees, providing education on tree care and the on-going beautification of the community. It is a charitable trust, whose mission is to plant and maintain neighborhood street trees. The group helps raise funds through individual donations to the Cobble Hill Association through their annual plant sale.
"It's a wonderful community event every spring,” Willett said. “Our neighbors and friends come out to support our work and purchase plants for their apartments, houses and tree beds.”
Visitors will find a wide array of plants to choose from, including perennials, geraniums and herbs. There are also other activities including a plant identification game in the park for kids. Attendees will receive a free T-shirt with a $75 purchase, while supplies last.
"The Cobble Hill Tree Fund is celebrating 35 years of its annual plant sale to raise money for planting street trees,” said Synnott. Since its creation in 1981, it has been responsible for planting more than 200 trees. It has also raised thousands of dollars for planting and maintenance. Thanks in part to its efforts, the 26-block area of Cobble Hill now has an average of 30 trees per block.
In addition to the annual plant sale, the Fund also sponsors a tree chipping event in January that allows Cobble Hill residents the opportunity to dispose of their Christmas trees by turning them into mulch. In 2004, the organization received a certificate of appreciation from the Parks Department for its work in preserving the urban forest by sponsoring an annual Christmas Tree Mulchfest.
The money raised from the plant sale goes toward tree plantings and tree care. The rain date for the sale is Sunday, May 7.