NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

JANUARY 2021
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
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This month, we ask you to dive deeper into the development that’s going on throughout Tarrytown, and then weigh in. Give veganism and pine tree forest hiking a try. Stay off the cross-country ski tracks, but bring a plastic bag with you when you take a walk.  And come to TEAC’s (Zoom) meetings! (See the end for the link.)

CHANGES:
TARRYTOWN IS GROWING
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Stay Aware and Get Involved

By Dean Gallea

Public meetings are great opportunities for Tarrytown residents to communicate directly with Village officials – the Mayor, Trustees and others – on any issues that concern them.

Each meeting (held on Zoom during the pandemic restrictions) provides a period during which residents may speak out on agenda items or – for Board of Trustees Meetings – on any topic they like.

All meetings have their minutes posted publicly, are broadcast live on the Government cable TV channel, and are recorded for later viewing on the website.

There are several large residential building projects proposed in Tarrytown, and these projects bear scrutiny by residents. As plans develop, these large projects go through a process of public hearings, modifications and permitting and involve many public meetings of both the Tarrytown Planning Board and the Board of Trustees and TEAC encourages all Village residents to look at the meeting agendas posted on the Village website, and consider if there is anything they wish to convey to the officials, or put on the public record.

Large development projects have the potential to change the way Tarrytown looks and feels, the way people move through the village, and the general quality of life, the very things that make the Village an enjoyable, healthy place to live, work, or raise a family.

Large residential projects can have some of the following positive and negative effects:
  • The “built environment” – Massing of buildings, sightline intrusion; architecture and landscaping; changes in traffic patterns; beautification of former industrial sites
  • Transportation – Increases in motor vehicle “trips”; increased needs for a shuttle, ride sharing, zip cars, bicycles or shared e-bikes, potentially slowing traffic through the Village; transit-oriented development (TOD) for housing can reduce car trips; crowding at the train station; noise from transportation
  • Carbon footprint – Use of electricity, heating fuel, gasoline and diesel fuels, production of trash, loss of green space; higher density housing can reduce energy needs per unit; potential carbon mitigation using green building principles, geothermal heat-pumps and solar generation
  • Population increase – Revitalization of downtown, bringing new business into Village; increasing demands on existing roads, infrastructure, schools and institutions; Increased use of in parks and main streets, influx of visitors from outside the Village

Many of the potential negative concerns can be alleviated by careful, intelligent design, limits on density and building heights, and studying and remediating projects’ effects on traffic. Tarrytown residents deserve the very finest decision-making and expertise from our officials as the Village evolves. Your participation and informed questioning in our public meetings can help ensure we get the best results and avoid pitfalls.

SEND IT AROUND AGAIN:
THE SECOND LIFE OF YOUR GENTLY-USED CLOTHING 
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Where do textile recyclables go? 

We interviewed Green Tree Textile Recycling who collects clothes and shoes (and any textiles) at the TaSH Farmers market on Saturdays during market season and also has a permanent collection bin in the lobby of at 5535 Main St. in Tarrytown. Watch the Youtube video of the shredding process.

Green Tree partners with the following charity organizations: 

  • Hostos Community College Career Services program: supplies the program with business clothing that the students use for their job interviews. Imagine your lucky pair of dress shoes now brings confidence and style to someone new.

  • YAI organization: provide employment opportunities to the constituent that enter the YAI training programs.

  • Real Life Church runs a clothing program for the homeless, directed by Pastor Reggie Stutzman. Mostly in need of sports and casual clothing.

JUST GO FOR IT ALREADY:
CONSIDER A RADICAL RESOLUTION: GO VEGAN!
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Add veganism to your New Year’s resolution.

By James Carsey, TEAC

Diet, healthy foods, and increased exercise are some of the more-popular New Year’s resolutions that we set for ourselves. Personal pledges vary from zero alcohol to reducing carbs and/or fried foods.

But, as the call for environmental action grows louder, why not up your game and add veganism to your new year’s resolutions. Yes, it’s a huge ask, and many people shy away from the concept because it sounds too extreme. Try it for two months or even a few weeks. The benefits are endless. Here are a few:

WEIGHT LOSS 

A plant-based diet means that you refrain from eating meat, dairy, and eggs, and you replace them with highly nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts. Foods like cakes, biscuits, bacon, fatty cuts of meat, and cheese contain saturated fats and carbs, so reducing or eliminating them is healthy in several ways, and can aid in weight loss.

MIX THINGS UP

Eating the same things or following the same diet on a regular basis can be pretty boring. You’ll find a variety of plant-based products at your local supermarket. It can be exciting when you are trying new things and changing your food consumption habits. The numbers are in your favor: According to a recent Gallup poll, about 3% of the U.S. population identifies as vegan, which means vegan foods are in demand and plentiful. A simple google search for vegan recipes yields thousands of plant-based recipes for Italian, Asian, Greek, and Mexican.

AN ETHICAL SOLUTION

No need for an animal-rights lecture today. Just remember that a plant-based diet does not include meat or any animal byproducts. You can rest easy knowing that you chose: a kinder and more-compassionate meal.

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

Your New Year’s resolution is more than just a self-improvement goal. It helps reduce carbon emissions, which need to be drastically reduced as soon as humanly possible. Remember, the livestock used for meat, eggs, and milk generate 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re not eating animal products then you are not contributing to those statistics.

Adhering to a plant-based diet does not have to be that extreme.
If you don’t think you are capable of pulling it off then take baby steps.
Take a day, a week, a month, give it your very best.
The benefits are endless and you’ll be doing Mother Earth a huge favor. 

REMEMBER: Vegetables are seasonal, although you may forget that when you take a walk down the produce aisle in some markets. Watermelon in February? Eating seasonal vegetable reduces your carbon footprint because you’re supporting a more geographically
sustainable food economy. Produce doesn’t have to be flown in from all over the world to make its way on to your dinner table.

Start your plant based diet pledge with this delicious winter salad.


RECIPE: Apple and Kale Salad with Sesame Seeds and Maple Cashews

1 cup cashews
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. Black vinegar (Shanxi or
Chinese Black vinegar)
1⁄4 cup apple cider
1⁄4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 cups packed chopped kale (salad size pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 apple (Cortland or Honey Crisp), peeled,
cored, and cut into wedges

In a small skillet, heat the cashews over medium-high, keep tossing, until lightly toasted.
Transfer cashews to a bowl and return pan to the heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast. Transfer the sesame seeds to another bowl and return the pan to the heat. Add the maple syrup and cook until reduced (about 1 minute). Syrup should be thicker in consistency. Return the cashews to the pan and stir with rubber spatula to coat with the syrup. Remove pan from heat and place cashews onto a sheet of foil, sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Let mixture cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the apple cider, sugar, and oil until the sugar
dissolves. Pour 1⁄2 cup of the vinaigrette into a large bowl, add the kale, add salt and
pepper.

Generously coat the kale with the vinaigrette and allow it to sit until leaves become slightly
wilted. This takes about 15 minutes or more depending on the kale. Toss the kale with the
vinaigrette one more time and transfer to a serving platter. Toss the apple wedges in the
dressing left in the bowl and arrange over the kale. Break the cashews up and sprinkle
over the salad just before serving.

Bon Appetit!

WINTER HIKING
PINE FOREST HIKES (FOR WHEN YOU’RE SICK OF BARE TREE TRUNKS)

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BY Suzy Allman, TEAC member

Around about mid-January, I’m sick of hiking through bare forest: the monochrome tree trunks, the tawny fields of bent grass and frosted trails. My cure for this is to find evergreen forest, or woods that looks almost the same in winter as it does in spring. In such places, where green is the dominant color year-round, you can almost trick yourself into believing that spring is here!

Here are some of my favorite places to escape to when I need to smell the deep pine and hemlock forest, and feel the soft needles underfoot.

Halle Ravine, Pound Ridge

Tucked away in the wooded backroads of Pound Ridge is Halle Ravine, a 38-acre preserve with a loop hemlock-studded trail. In winter, it’s a wonderful place to snowshoe or hike; the deep rich green of the hemlocks, the silence of the woods except for the rushing  brook is meditative. Four wooden bridges cross the brook along 1.2 miles of trail. Parking is along Trinity Pass Road across from Donbrook Lane. Park on the roadside, where there’s room for about four cars.

Pelton Pond Loop, Fahnestock State Park

Not far from the Taconic State Parkway — a scenic treat in itself — Pelton Pond is a jewel in the expansive Fahnestock State Park. The trail leads around the pond’s perched edges and through forests of hemlock and mountain laurel, with the occasional pine teetering on a rocky outcrop.Before your hike, stop at the wonderful pavilion, between the parking lot and pond, to read the poem written by a Civilian Conservation Corp member. It’s posted on the pavilion wall.

Parking is in the pond’s lot, 0.6 mile from the parkway exit on Route 301 and across from park headquarters.


Along the yellow-blazed Pelton Pond trail.

Menomine Trail, Harriman State Park

“There’s nothing like coming upon a stand of pine trees in the woods”, my dad used to say. Tall pines surround Lake Nawahunta along this trail, which in summer is colored with green ferns and liverwort. It’s one of my favorite hikes in any season. The majestic stand of white pine, planted by the Civil Conservation Corp almost a century ago, whisper in the slightest breeze.Start by parking in the Silvermine Parking area of Harriman State Park — it’s off Seven Lakes Drive —  and follow the yellow blazes away from Silvermine Lake, to the far end of the parking lot, where a picnic area begins and a stream rushes along on your left. The trail passes under tall pines before crossing Seven Lakes Drive and entering the forest next to Lake Nawahunta. Follow this trail as far as you like, past the lake and the pine forest and into upland hardwoods. Eventually the Menomine Trail arrives at a lean-to, perched in the rocks. It’s well worth the hike to the shelter.


Lake Nawahunta in Harriman State Park. The white pine tree grove was planted by the CCC.

Further Afield: Tillman Ravine Natural Area

A hike of exceptional beauty. This trail and the ravine lie within the Stokes State Forest in western New Jersey, and while it’s a drive to get out there, it’s worth the trip.There are about 25 acres of old-growth hemlock and hardwood trees in this 525-acre ravine, one of the very few old-growth forests left in New Jersey. The trailhead is on Dimon Road, but in winter this road is closed to cars by a gate so you’ll have to hike down the paved road for about a mile from the upper parking area. But no matter: the hike along the road is pretty, with plush moss pillows growing on the sides of trees, fallen stumps and rocks.

The trail leads down to a narrow waterfall, and several wooden bridges criss-cross the stream.

And once the pandemic is behind us, you’re close enough to the fantastic Walpack Inn to make that your stop for lunch or supper.


The white-blazed trail to the falls in Tillman Ravine, in western New Jersey.

Franklin Parker Preserve

Set aside a full day for this adventure into the fabled Pine Barrens of New Jersey. I promise: during an exploration of Franklin Parker Preserve, you’ll feel like you’ve been to somewhere so much farther from where you are. And afterwards, if you have time, head east to spend an hour or so on the Jersey Shore.Miles and miles of sandy roads wind through pitch pine forests and ancient blueberry fields, and cross miles of former cranberry bog in this unique property in Woodland, New Jersey. The trails sprawl over a magnificent landscape of pine forest that soon yields to field and bog. They are open to hikers, but also bikes (bring your electric pedal-assist bike!) and horses.

The preserve is in Chatsworth, New Jersey, with an entrance at 1450 County Rd 532.


Franklin Parker Preserve, in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

AN ACHIEVABLE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: 
PROTECT POLLINATORS
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“The little things that run the world are disappearing.”

By Mai Mai Margules

Pollinators are in trouble and they need our help. Today 40% of insects and pollinators are at risk for extinction, primarily due to destruction of their natural habitat. Exposure to pesticides used in agriculture and residential areas is decimating populations of pollinators, a fact that is reverberating up the food chain, affecting all animals, including us humans.

Another notable fact: 86% of land east of the Mississippi River is privately owned, only 14% is public forest and park land. For a functioning, healthy ecosystem to exist we as individuals must do our part; we are the majority shareholders. The good news is that all of us have the ability to take simple actions that make a real difference.

Ecologists are learning that pollinator habitats need to be connected or near each other because many insects don’t travel far. Native bees such as bumblebees only travel ⅓ mile. This is where the idea of pollinator pathways comes in.

Even a balcony or small area of the yard can serve as a valuable link if it provides food, water and nesting material  for butterflies, bees and others. This is empowering for it means that each of us can take small steps that collectively have a huge impact.

The best part is that we can see this transformation and celebrate our part in making it happen!

 

                                A visiting Monarch on sunflowers

      

 

5 Easy Steps to Help Pollinators this Year

 

1. Pledge to eliminate pesticide and herbicide use on your property. 

Make a commitment to avoid using chemicals on your lawn and garden.

Did you know that chemically maintained lawns in the U.S. use more pesticides per acre than food crops? Chemical insecticides kill pollinators and put our families and pets at risk.

Let’s do better this year and start using healthier alternatives for pest control. Here are some helpful links:

:http://www.propollinators.org/safe-pesticide-alternatives.html

             

2. Plant native plants.

Insects tend to be specialists, feeding on a narrow group of plants. Just think of monarchs, their caterpillars ONLY eat milkweed. Without this host plant they cannot survive.

Native wildflowers, particularly perennials are usually the best source of pollen and nectar for pollinators. Insects and native plants have a long intertwined evolutionary history and native plants are crucial as host plants for caterpillars. Here are some sites that help in choosing native plants for your yard.

 

https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/  National Wildlife Foundation site : Clear info with photos based on zip code..Rates plants based on number of pollinators each attracts.

https://xerces.org/sites/default/files/2018-05/17-051_03_XercesSoc_PRegion_web-4page.pdf X\

Xerces Society; website gives photos and characteristics of Northeast native plants, also great links to other sites

 

3. Create a Healthy Lawn

Many of us are in love with the idea of a lush green lawn. Unfortunately, traditional lawn care practices are an ecological nightmare.

The great news is that we can have that lush lawn without  the use of hazardous herbicides and highly polluting leaf blowers ruining another Sunday morning! Here is a link to Healthy Yards, an organization that gives a blueprint for healthy yard practices that benefit us and all the creatures who depend on us to provide a healthy ecosystem . https://www.healthyyards.org/homeowners/healthy-lawns/

                                                     

  • Keep it Alive. Don’t use pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. 

  • Leave Clippings. Leave clippings, after mowing, on the lawn.

  • Leave the leaves wherever possible ( habitat for pollinators & free mulch}, if you use a blower, go electric.

  • Mow Leaves. Mow the leaves on the lawn. 

  • Mow High. Let grass grow up to 4 inches. Join the No Mow May movement. Delay spring mowing so that early pollinators have a chance to forage on early blooming plants like clover, violets and dandelions. Without food they will not survive. https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/no-mow-may-for-our-threatened-pollinators

  • Plant low growing white clover in your lawn. It adds nitrogen to the soil and feeds early season bees emerging from hibernation

      

4. Plant or Maintain a Native Tree

Usually when we think of planting for pollinators we visualize a garden of wildflowers, but native trees are a crucial player,supporting an even greater diversity of butterflies and moths than herbaceous plants. Did you know that one native oak tree can support over 500 species of pollinators which in turn are a food source for over 96% of songbirds ( Natl. Wildlife Foundation) If you have a small yard, planting a tree is a great option for providing maximum pollinator value. Flowering trees provide lots of nectar at one time and leaves and bark serve to provide nurture and nesting for wildlife.Maples and willows are great early season sources of nectar for hungry bees coming out of hibernation. Some hybrid ornamental trees look pretty but provide little nectar for pollinators, when in doubt go native. Below are two wonderful local resources for direction..

Connecticut  Pollinator Pathways is a comprehensive link to native trees, shrubs and other native plant lists: https://www.pollinator-pathway.org/native-pollinator-

This is a great list of pollinator trees, shrubs, grasses and plants compiled by The Bedford Audubon Society. Also this notes what is deer-resistant and the size of the trees!  https://bedfordaudubon.org/habitat-gardening/plants-for-habitat-gardening/

5. Design for Pollinators

When dreaming of our spring gardens it’s easy to get seduced by the beauty of dramatic blooms in the seed catalogs. I certainly plead guilty on this count.

But when our goal is to help pollinators we need to ensure that those beautiful blooms serve them as well. And it’s not only blooms.  Pollinators need host plants for their young, nesting material, shelter and water. All of these elements are easy to provide with a little forethought.

  • Plant placement can be just as important as plant choice. When planting, plant in drifts (eg groups of 3 like plants together). Pollinators prefer adjacent groupings as this saves them valuable energy instead of flying all over to seek food. 

  • Within groupings mix caterpillar host plants with nectar plants. 

  • Do succession planting so that something is in bloom from spring through late fall thus providing a continual food source

  • If possible include shrubs, trees and thicket areas to provide shelter and hiding places in your yard

Most of all, experiment with different plants and enjoy making your own discoveries as you observe the visitors to your garden. Browsing beautiful gardens is a great way to get through the January doldrums and now is also the time to cold stratify many native seeds for the garden. .https://www.americanmeadows.com/blog/2018/03/07/how-to-cold-stratify-seeds

Below is a link to a good article that clearly  outlines the steps and considerations for creating a pollinator garden, and the website has lots of great design ideas and suggested plant groupings. https://www.gardenista.com/posts/native-pollinator-garden-crash-course/

 

 

Whether you take one step or all five you will be helping pollinators this year. For me the best part of creating a pollinator friendly garden/ yard is that you see visible results almost immediately. For years I fretted over the “silent springs” when no bees could be seen in our yard. Once I planted pollinator plants such as hyssop, sunflowers and milkweed I began to see bumblebees again, followed by monarchs and swallowtails, all within one summer!

We at TEAC/Tarrytown Pollinator Pathways are here to help in any way that we can. Please reach out if you are interested in joining our efforts to create pollinator patches here in the Village or if you have any questions about healthy yard practices.

We will be distributing free pollinator seed mixes this spring. To reserve a packet please email us now with your name and email and note whether you would like a sun or shade mix. Also please contact us if you have native/pollinator plant seed to donate to this project!

 

                           CONTACT tarrytownenviro@gmail.com

GOOD NEIGHBORS:
TRACKS FOR SKIS? LEAVE THEM, PLEASE!
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Ski tracks make for easy gliding

The recent heavy snowfall brought some (post-shoveling) joy to those of us who like to get out on Nordic (cross-country) skis to trek along beautiful trails through the woods in our Rivertowns.

I live a few stones’ throws from the Old Croton Aqueduct that wends its way through Tarrytown, north past the high school and between the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Rockefeller State Park. Skiing on the OCA is a good way to get some full-body exercise while staying on a fairly-level path without having to drive far, if at all.

Nordic skiers love fresh snow, but even more so if another skier has gone before them and left some nice parallel tracks that make for an easy, gliding stride.

Clean tracks let skiers enjoy the outing – and the environment around them – without having to focus on keeping their skis from slipping to the sides or crossing each other.

But snowy trails also beckon those on foot, since the OCA and other trails around the Villages are multi-mode pathways, even outside the bicycling season.

Unfortunately, the joy of nice ski tracks is broken when they get trampled by hiking boots. That creates hazards, where a ski tip can get caught in a deep pocket, or slide sideways out of the tracks.

There’s usually plenty of width on our established trails, so conscientious walkers can easily stay to the side or the center of the paths, leaving established ski tracks pristine for those folks that use them.

I probably didn’t invent the variant of the poison-ivy couplet (Leaves of three, let them be!) in the title above, but it came to mind today on the trail. I was careful to thank those walkers I passed who were NOT trampling the tracks.

Enjoy the winter, and have a Happy 2021!

REPAIR CAFE UPDATE:
BOOK LAUNCHED FOR THE REPAIR REVOLUTION

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REPAIRING — NOT REPLACING — BUILDS COMMUNITY

“Repair Cafes” are local, in-person events to which people can bring their small broken household items — mechanical, electrical, textile, etc. — to be repaired by volunteer experts.

It’s a great way to keep things from having to be discarded and replaced with new things, that might not even be as good as the original ones.

TEAC members were involved in two successful Repair Cafes organized by the Hastings Repair Cafe group (https://www.facebook.com/hastingsrepaircafe), and tentative plans were made for holding one in Tarrytown. Then the pandemic happened…

The 2021 book just launched, Repair Revolution: How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throwaway Culture was written by two original Hudson Valley Repair Cafe Organizers, John Wackman and Elizabeth Knight.

John Wackman, who, sadly, passed away just this month, was integral in getting the Hastings Repair Cafe off the ground. He provided much-needed guidance and tons of encouragement and moral support. We are grateful for his assistance. In this book, Elizabeth and John lovingly share what they learned about what we need and how to create Repair Cafes.

“Repair Revolution is the first book to comprehensively introduce the ideas of “repair culture” and the wisdom and practice of repair to a larger audience. The book is about much more than Repair Cafes — it is about the way repair initiatives of all kinds build community and awareness about the larger challenges facing our planet. We believe that every town needs a Repair Cafe, Fixit Clinic, Tool Library or something like it, and Repair Revolution is also an empowering guide for readers who want to start a repair initiative of their own.”

You can read more about the book here: https://www.repaircafeusa.org/repair-revolution-book

LET IT ROT:
FOOD SCRAP EDUCATION CENTER BREAKS GROUND
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County Executive George Latimer joined Westchester County’s Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF), Solid Waste Division, on Nov 30th to break ground on the Compost and Education Center (CompostED) in Valhalla.

CompostED will be a small-scale food scrap composting demonstration and education site. The site will provide educational opportunities for County residents, students, and municipal officials on the environmental benefits of composting, the process of composting, and explore the ability of local municipalities to incorporate food scraps into existing organic yard waste composting sites.

Latimer said: “CompostED and the educational opportunity it will bring, is the next step in my commitment to addressing food waste.  We urge all of our residents and businesses to first reduce waste, then donate excess food to organizations serving those in Westchester who are food insecure. However, for food scraps that cannot be donated, recycling is the best option. This facility will promote food scrap recycling and educate residents, students and municipal officials on implementing it.” 

Backyard composting is one way residents can recycle food scraps, and municipal participation in DEF’s Residential Food Scrap Transportation and Disposal Program (RFSTAD) is another way. Under RFSTAD, Refuse District municipalities have access to transportation and disposal of residential food scraps for the same cost—or less—than disposing of the material as solid waste.

Even during these challenging times, the County and DEF have continued their commitment to the County’s residents and the environment.

DEF Commissioner Vincent Kopicki praised the project adding, “The CompostED facility will raise awareness about food scrap recycling through composting, and will add to the County’s already robust recycling education portfolio.”

Deputy Commissioner Louis Vetrone noted: “DEF’s Solid Waste Division has developed programs to make food scrap programs accessible for all municipalities, and modified existing programs such as our Household Recycling Days and Shredder Events for safe access. The increased amount of recycling that has been processed during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that County residents have reinforced their commitment to recycling, and we are thankful for the County Executive’s leadership and support in our efforts.”

SOME “CUTTING” REMARKS FROM THE VILLAGE TREE COMMISSION
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by Martin Hauser, Co-Chair, Village of Tarrytown Tree Commission

The Village of Tarrytown is very proud of its designation as at Tree City USA, a title awarded by the National Arbor Day Foundation to some 3200 communities throughout the United States. As such, we are required to meet four standards of sound urban forestry.

The first is the establishment of the Village of Tarrytown Tree Commission (TC), which oversees the care and management of all the trees in the Village. Our TC is co-chaired by Anne O’Brian and myself, and includes two members of the Planning Board, the Village Tree Warden (a certified arborist), and the General Foreman of the DPW. With assistance from the Village Administrator and a member of the Board of Trustees, we plan for the planting and maintenance of trees on Village land, and we review all applications for pruning and removal of trees on private property.

The second is the adoption of a Village Tree Ordinance, which regulates by law the maintenance and removal of trees. Our Tree Ordinance requires that homeowners obtain a permit from the DPW to prune or remove any trees on their property that are over four inches in diameter. This work should only be done by contractors licensed by the Village.

The third requirement is that the Village budget at least $2 per capita to urban forestry. In Tarrytown we easily exceed this requirement.

The fourth is an annual Arbor Day Celebration and Proclamation, which in Tarrytown typically consists of a tree-planting event in conjunction with the public schools, to educate the next generation about the importance of trees in maintaining a healthy and beautiful environment. In 2020 our Arbor Day celebration had to be done via a Zoom webinar, but we did it!

One of the agenda items of the TC is to protect designated tree species, namely American Beech, European Beech, Eastern White Pine, American Elm, Ginkgo, Canadian Hemlock, American Sycamore, Littleleaf Linden, and Larch.

We also encourage homeowners to plant trees that will thrive and flourish in the Hudson Valley without invasively crowding out other species, or requiring excessive and expensive maintenance.

Some non-native and invasive trees are Norway Maple, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus), Russian Olive, Smooth Buckthorn, and Black Locust, which is native to the southeastern United States, but considered invasive in the Hudson Valley.

One high-maintenance tree that we discourage is the very popular Bradford Pear, which is beautiful for a week in April, but a nightmare for the rest of the year. Its soft wood is just not suited to withstand our severe winters.

When it comes to invasive species, the best approach is an ounce of prevention. Get rid of invasive saplings before they grow to the four-inch diameter that requires a permit for their removal. If you have an old, established specimen of an invasive species on your property, apply for a permit to have it removed, but be prepared to plant one or more substantial native trees to replace it.

Unfortunately, invasive Norway Maples make up 60% of the tree canopy in Tarrytown, so any of these trees that is taken down really needs to be replaced.  The TC will determine whether there is any unforeseen reason for your Norway maple to be left in place and can also advise you on the best species to put in its place, given the size of your property, the location of buildings and so forth. And make sure that the family budget can handle both the cost of removal and the cost of replanting.

Beautiful mature and stately trees increase the value of your property and the value of your neighbors’ property. And realtors’ research shows that communities with a substantial tree canopy are generally more desirable to homebuyers.

Shade trees can reduce your energy costs in the summer by keeping your home cool. The EPA estimate is that shade trees can reduce the ambient temperature by as much as 20 degrees.

Trees provide oxygen for us and food and lodging for the furry and feathered creatures with whom we share our environment.

Our goal should be to gradually, over time, get rid of non-native and invasive species and plant enough sturdy Hudson Valley species to restore to our Village the green and shady tree canopy that it had a century ago, to make Tarrytown the best of the Tree Cities, USA.

Did you know? You can tap a Norway Maple tree for sap and make your own maple syrup, just as you would a sugar maple tree. It’s a great “urban homesteading” activity, and it puts those “weed trees” to good use!

Here’s a link to how to do it:

LOVE YOUR VILLAGE
JOINING TEAC IS EASY. JUST COME TO A (ZOOM) MEETING.
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TEAC relies on volunteers to keep things moving, and we usually meet on the 1st Thursday in Village Hall, One Depot Plaza, at 7:00 PM.Since the Covid, we’ve moved our monthly meetings online — Zoom-style for now — so you can still pitch in. The next regular TEAC meeting will be on THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2020. The meetings are open to all.To join the meeting, launch your Zoom app, then use the following login credentials:Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88350148950?pwd=VmxDc1hDZFkrMVpmZFlnc2tZbUFRZz09Meeting ID: 883 5014 8950
Passcode: 527878

“Every emergency reveals that “impossible” things are actually doable. In this case, our society just demonstrated that it can choose to change more and faster than we ever imagined.”
— MIT President Rafael Reif, reflecting on lessons of the pandemic for climate change action.

Copyright © 2021 Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council, All rights reserved.

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