By Abigail Scott

One day out of the year, the Brockport community comes together to plant trees for the wellbeing of their environment, economy and themselves. This is the celebration of Arbor Day. 

Tree City USA banner at South Avenue Park in Brockport, NY on Friday, April 28, 2023. (Photo/Abigail Scott)

SUNY Brockport student Devon DeRue is the president of the Environmental club and emphasizes just how important Arbor Day is for the environment. 

“Arbor Day is dedicated towards the planting of trees across the world in an effort to curb the amount of trees cut down annually for manufacturing and fueling purposes, since more trees means a healthier planet all together,” DeRue said. “Trees offset the gas buildup in our atmosphere that is leading to global warming. They provide housing for millions of species that we depend on, they prevent water pollution, they stop crops from eroding and from getting too much sun exposure which in turn helps the economy.”

Co-Owner of the Lift Bridge Bookshop Sarah Bonczyk agrees with DeRue on the effect trees have on the Village of Brockport. 

 “I think the trees are extremely important as a unique identifier to our shoppable district downtown,” Bonczyk said.  “I think they need to stay because there is a visible difference to making our area special. We need to keep the trees and we need to replace the ones we cut down” 

On April 28, the community came together to replace the trees that had been taken down in previous years and plant new ones for the upcoming generation. Brockport Village Mayor Margaret Blackman helped to organize the event with the town’s Tree Board.

Village of Brockport Mayor at South Avenue Park in Brockport, NY on Friday, April 28, 2023. (Photo/Abigail Scott)

“As a collaboration between the village and college we always pick a place where we need to plant trees. We try to pick species that are salt and pollution tolerant by using native species. This year we’re planting two oaks and eight Redbud trees in South Avenue Park,” Blackman said. 

Brockport residents plant trees at South Avenue Park in Brockport, NY on Friday, April 28, 2023

Celebration Forest donor Lori Staubitz helped fund the planting of some of the trees. The Redbud trees are a type of tree she is familiar with. 

Lori Staubitz at South Avenue Park in Brockport, NY on Friday, April 28, 2023. (Video/ Abigail Scott)

One of the oak trees is a memorial tree for SUNY Brockport Professor Priya Banerjee’s mother who passed away in December 2022.

SUNY Brockport Professor Pria Banerjee at South Avenue Park in Brockport, NY on Friday, April 28, 2023. (Video/Abigail Scott)

Banerjee and her friends are honoring her mother’s memory by planting the tree on what used to be the grounds of her family’s home.  

Pria Banerjee and the memorial tree for her mother at South Avenue Park in Brockport, NY on Friday April 28, 2023. (Photo/Abigail Scott)

Friends, families and residents from all walks of life come together each year to celebrate the day for the trees.

Donation Jar for the Village Tree Board in Brockport, NY on Friday, April 28, 2023 (Photo/Abigail Scott)

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