The cost to purchase the seedlings was $303, about 30 cents a tree. The 10-foot trees the village typically plants cost $107 each. Fare said that if only three of the 1,000 seedlings were to survive — and obviously he hopes the figure is far higher — the village would still come out ahead.
Valley Stream Girl Scouts will be among the groups adopting some of the seedlings, which they will plant near Mill Pond at Cahill Park. The 11 girls from Troop 2029, ages 10 and 11, live in the neighborhood, so they will be able to take care of the trees as they grow.
Troop leader Liz Fogarty said that the scouts are planting the seedlings to qualify for their Bronze Award, which requires a community-service project that will have a lasting impact. “My girls absolutely love helping,” she said. “They decided, especially after all the storms, to plant even more trees. They enjoy helping the environment.”
In the past, Troop 2029 has planted fruit trees, cherry blossoms and lilac bushes, among other greenery, at Cahill Park. This year, Fogarty said, the village offered the girls the opportunity to be part of its seedling program. “They’re in good hands,” she said of the young trees.
Fare said that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which blew down hundreds of trees in Valley Stream, this is a good year to plant more trees than normal.
Ken Heino, president of the Valley Stream Youth Council, said that the group would plant some of the seedlings in Hendrickson Park in the next few weeks, and that it would be good for the teens to have a project that they can take care of and call their own.
“The Youth Council cares about Hendrickson Park,” Heino said, noting the group’s annual cleanup there. “It’s one of Valley stream’s greatest assets. We’re going to try to see if we can grow some trees.”
Fare said that there are many factors villagers must take into account when planting new trees. A variety should be planted, in case there is a problem with a particular species — a disease, for instance. If a tree will be planted along a street, it can’t grow so large that it will buckle the sidewalk. And LIPA has guidelines for trees planted under wires.