Tree Toga 2022 volunteers

April 30, 2022 – There was not a cloud in the sky on Saturday as more than 160 volunteers came together to add 53 more large-growing shade trees to the urban forest in Saratoga Springs, bringing the total to 338 trees since 2014. The event was organized by our Urban Forestry Project and in partnership with the City of Saratoga Springs.

Volunteers assembled at Pitney Meadows Community Farm for camaraderie and a planting tutorial from retired DEC Forester and our longtime volunteer Rick Fenton before dispersing around town to plant the trees. “We want to thank Pitney Meadows Community Farm for being gracious hosts of the event this year, Allerdice for donating the tree stakes, The Bread Basket Bakery for donating refreshments, and Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar for donating a portion of their proceeds on Saturday afternoon,” said Caroline Rothaug, chair of Sustainable Saratoga’s Urban Forestry Project. In addition to planting in front of many homes, this year’s planting sites also included Vanderbilt Terrace, Jefferson Terrace, the Wilton YMCA and Pitney Meadows Community Farm.

Tree Toga tree planting demonstration
Tom Denny gives a short orientation and Russ Pittenger welcomes them to the planting crew!
Volunteers, including students from Youth Squared, planted trees at Pitney Meadows Community Farm. 

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the climate mitigation role of urban trees – improving air quality, decreasing stormwater runoff, and reducing air temperatures on hot summer days. Large-growing trees provide greater benefits than their smaller counterparts, and when planted along streets, they help to reduce the amount of water entering our stormwater drains and extend the life of city streets. Some of the trees planted this year include Kentucky Coffeetree, Tulip Tree, Basswood, Sweetgum, and Hackberry. These newly planted trees will be nurtured and cared for by the homeowners for all to enjoy for generations to come.

We urge you to consider planting a tree in your yard this year. Spring is a great time to plant a tree. “Trees provide many benefits to a homeowner – they can increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, and provide inviting shade on those hot summer days,” says Wendy Mahaney, Executive Director of Sustainable Saratoga. Our Urban Forestry group recommends planting a variety of trees that are adapted to our area and that provide food and shelter for a variety of pollinators, birds and other wildlife. You can find a wealth of practical information on selecting, planting, and caring for trees on our website.

Head over to our Facebook page to see even more Tree Toga photos.

Three trees were planted on Evergreen Drive.
The planting crew on Horseshoe Drive.
Three trees were added along Robin Hood Court.
Tree Toga is enjoyed by planters of all ages.
Two trees were planted at both Jefferson and Vanderbilt Terraces, continuing a long partnership with the Saratoga Springs Housing Authority.

Sustainable Saratoga promotes sustainable practices and the protection of natural resources through education, advocacy and action. We provide educational resources that people can use to make informed decisions that affect everyday life, advocate for sustainable policies and programs, and empower our community to take action. 

Please consider making a donation today. Your gift supports community events like Tree Toga, Repair Café, and Saratoga Recycles Day, educational events like our composting resources, and supports our advocacy to protect open spaces and address the climate crisis. You can help make our community a more sustainable place for current and future generations to enjoy. Leave a lasting legacy for future generations by donating today.