The Long Hill Estate Authority, the City of Middletown Urban Forestry Commission, and the Rockfall Foundation are collaborating to replace lost and damaged trees at the Wadsworth Mansion and the Wadsworth Arboretum from the 2011 storms that ravaged Connecticut.
On Thursday, April 26, 2012, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., the Wadsworth Mansion will host a Celebration of Trees, a fundraiser for the purpose of purchasing and planting trees at the two Wadsworth Legacy properties.
Following a wine reception, Ted Esselstyn, co-founder of City Bench, will speak about his company, which recycles city trees from all over Connecticut into museum-quality furniture. Wood from the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill has been used in his furniture. A piece of his work has been donated for a raffle at the event.
Admission is $30 per person, and reservations can be made by calling (860) 347-1064.
Storms Irene and Alfred left a trail of destruction throughout Middletown in 2011. The Wadsworth/ Kerste deBoer Arboretum suffered damage or loss to more than 20 percent of its historic trees. City arborist Dana Whitney estimated the two storms did more than $128,000 in damage to trees in the arboretum. The Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill incurred thousands of dollars in lost trees, including 100-year-old oaks and pines.
The Wadsworth Legacy Tree Restoration Fund has been created to replant trees lost at these two historic landscape properties. Donors can select a tree from planting lists for either property and dedicate it to an individual or organization, or they can make a general donation.
"We're really excited about the donation of trees," Jane Harris, chairwoman of the Urban Forestry Commission, said. "We're planning it as about a five-year program. We don't want to plant 100 trees at once and then have a bad summer drought and lose them all."
Harris said the commission prefers to plant native species so they last through cold winters and hot summers and are accepted by area wildlife.
Information will be available at the Wadsworth Mansion by calling (860) 347-1064 or visiting www.WadsworthMansion.com.