Joyce Kilmer Had It Right

Overdressed Noam plants a linden with pre-schoolers.  (Photo credit: Floriane Boudelier, our intern from La Rochelle.)
Overdressed Noam plants a linden with pre-schoolers. (Photo credit: Floriane Boudelier, our intern from La Rochelle.)

“I think that I shall never see . . . a poem lovely as a tree.”

There’s a lot that can be said for trees.  They reduce the urban heat island effect, help with flood mitigation, serve as carbon sinks, and enhance property values.  But no list of virtues quite compares with Joyce Kilmer’s simple tribute.

Today, as part of New Rochelle’s annual Arbor Day commemoration, I joined preschoolers from the New Rochelle Day Nursery and a few older students from the High School’s environmental studies class to plant three linden trees along the north side of City Hall.

Of course, these plantings are mainly symbolic — our municipal forestry efforts are much broader.  The City’s Sustainability Plan calls for 10,000 new trees by 2030, and to help ensure that annual plantings are done strategically, the City recently completed a comprehensive “vacancy analysis” to identify areas suitable for new saplings.

I’m told that the lindens we planted today will eventually grow to be 100 feet tall with a 60 foot wide canopy.  It’s nice to imagine people enjoying their shade over the course of generations.  One of the pre-schoolers informed me that she planned to be that tall, too, when she grows up.  I hope I live to see that!