RUTLAND—A small army of Rutland Blooms volunteers made a big contribution to the ongoing beautification of the City of Rutland Thursday, May 11, planting 46 crabapple trees. The planting comes just days after a devastating wind storm wreaked havoc, toppling trees and causing considerable damage.
“The timing was coincidental, but the storm definitely made today’s work more meaningful,” said Steve Costello, a Green Mountain Power vice president and organizer of Rutland Blooms, which coordinated Thursday’s project. “After so many spent the weekend cleaning up from the storm, it felt really good to be adding some new life to the city streetscape.”
“From significant devastation to new life — it’s been a crazy week,” Mayor Dave Allaire said. “Though today’s project was planned, it was nice to have it follow so closely on the heels of the storm and cleanup efforts.”
Thursday’s work was completed by volunteers from GMP, Stafford Technical Center, Come Alive Outside, GE Aviation, VELCO and the City of Rutland.
The crabapple trees were planted along Harrington Avenue in front of St. Joseph’s Cemetery, and nine “Sunset Red” maple trees will be planted by city staff near the new Ripley Road bridge connecting Business 4A with Dorr Drive.
The trees were purchased with donations from GMP, Castleton University, and dozens of other businesses and individuals, and planted under the supervision of City Forester Dave Schneider.
“The city suffered a lot of tree damage Friday night,” Schneider said. “We lost some beautiful trees and many others were damaged, which highlights the value of Rutland Blooms. The program has allowed us to plant hundreds of trees over the past five years, trees we wouldn’t have been able to plant without the support of the program, volunteers and the business community.”
Costello said the crabapples planted Thursday and hundreds more planted in recent years were chosen for the beauty of their blossoms, and because their full-grown height allows planting alongside streets and rights-of-way without conflicting with power lines.
“They are a perfect complement to the streetscape,” Costello said. “The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly upbeat and positive, and their beauty will only grow over time.”