Teens for Trees Hosting Fundraiser at Branch Line

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Krishna Patel

The following announcement was provided by Trees for Watertown:

On Saturday, June 8th, from 1-3 p.m., Trees for Watertown will be holding a fundraiser for Teens for Trees on the patio at Branch Line at 321 Arsenal Street. There will be light snacks, raffle items from local businesses, and auction items, including art, tickets to a show at Mosesian Center, and more. And, of course, bocce ball!

“We’re thrilled to be running Teens for Trees for the third summer in a row,” said David Meshoulam, Program Director. “Over the past 2 years we have worked with nearly 20 teens in learning about the importance of our urban forest. This year the program will be working closely with the town’s Tree Warden to care for and plan for future tree plantings. This Spring fundraiser, hosted by Branch Line, is a lively opportunity for community members to contribute to the program’s success in 2019.”

Support from local residents has been a cornerstone of support for the program, which pays teens to learn about and advocate for a healthy urban tree canopy. This year, Watertown resident Shanta Puchtler will be matching individual donations dollar-for-dollar up to $2,500 total.

Dylan Hickey, who was a teen in the program last summer and will be returning as a teen leader this summer, said that he’s excited to return.

“I want to spread the word to other teens so that they can have the same opportunity I had.” The program combined his passion for art with a newfound passion for trees: “I was never interested in tree stuff before the program. I learned more about trees during the summer than I had in my entire life.”

Trees for Watertown President Libby Shaw has been an active leader in building the program.

“This citizen-supported program is tremendously helpful to TFW’s mission,” said Shaw. “The benefits that Watertown’s shade trees provide are critically important to our city’s health, and the teens’ outreach and research have been invaluable in raising civic awareness of the value of caring for our trees and sustaining a healthy urban forest.”

The Teens for Trees program provides paid internships for teens to learn about the urban forest, collect data on and care for street trees, and educate the community about the importance of trees. Generous community donations for the 2019 program will also support a new initiative: the teens will help in organizing neighborhood tree plantings. Watertown Community Foundation, Sasaki, and Watertown Savings Bank have signaled their continuing support by contributing to this year’s program.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 and can be purchased at bit.ly/t4t_fundraiser. (Kids are free!) For more information or to donate to the program, please contact David Meshoulam at david@tfwteensfortrees.org.

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