NORTHAMPTON, Mass. —Childs Park, once part of an estate, was bequeathed by Annie Childs as a place for quiet reflection in Northampton. The private 40-acre park is now open to the public and run by a foundation, but unfortunately the foundation has little funding available for maintenance. As a lifelong resident of Northampton, Jay Girard, landscape manager at the Smith College Botanic Garden and a certified arborist, has spent many hours enjoying the park. He said, “The park, located directly across the street from our local high school, was always a nice retreat in the heart of the city.” In recent years, however, he has become increasingly concerned about the state of the park’s trees.
Traditionally, the director of the Smith College Botanic Garden serves as a Director of the Childs Park Foundation, Inc. Current Botanic Garden Director Michael Marcotrigiano was also concerned about the situation at Childs Park. As he and Girard were discussing Childs Park’s needs for tree care, Girard mentioned that two organizations he belongs to, the International Arborist Association and the Massachusetts Arborist Association, encourage its members to volunteer a work day on Arbor Day for needy organizations. Girard suggested celebrating Arbor Day by organizing a Day of Service for Childs Park, and Marcotrigiano gave his full support to the project.
After contacting David Murphy, president of the Childs Park Foundation, Girard recruited CL Frank & Company Tree Service to co-sponsor the event with the Smith College Botanic Garden. Several other tree companies and arborists also agreed to help out with providing the much needed tree work for the park: Lashco Tree Care in South Hadley, Lyndon Tree Care of Northampton, Northern Arboriculture from southern New Hampshire, Dostal Tree Service in Easthampton, Larkin Tree Service in Southampton, Arbortech Tree Service of East Longmeadow, Race Mt. Tree Service in Sheffield and Eric Reynolds from State Department of Conservation and Recreation. Many thanks to all these people who are committed to helping this beautiful park remain a safe place for people to continue to come for quiet reflection for many years to come.