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Norwalk Couple Named Tree Advocates Of The Year

John and Lucy Jinishian in the front yard of their Marvin Beach cottage. They have been named Norwalk’s Tree Advocates of the Year.
John and Lucy Jinishian in the front yard of their Marvin Beach cottage. They have been named Norwalk’s Tree Advocates of the Year. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. – John and Lucy Jinishian, a couple dedicated to restoring the tree canopy in their Marvin Beach neighborhood, have been named the 2016 Tree Advocates of the Year by the Norwalk Tree Alliance.

They will be officially recognized and presented with a plaque at the 10th Annual Connecticut Tree Festival on Saturday in Cranbury Park, a free family-oriented outing that runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

In a community of 125 homes on the eastern shoreline of Norwalk Harbor, the Jinishians work as a team, even going door-to-door, diplomatically prodding their neighbors to plant trees provided at no charge by Norwalk’ public works department. Over the last five years, they have arranged for at least 65 trees to be strategically added—away from telephone and power lines – to the front yards of the neighborhood. Species like dogwoods, crabapples, lindens and sugar maples, resistant to the salt air and otherwise adaptable to the environment, have been planted.

The Jinishians are the first co-winners of the Norwalk Tree Alliance Award. They resettled in Marvin Beach seven years ago after 50 years in Greenwich, where Lucy headed the Shellfish Commission for 20 years and was co-founder of the Greenwich Environmental Action Group. John is a retired sales and marketing executive. They have four children and five grandchildren.

Everything at the Connecticut Tree Festival is free, including admission, parking, chances on door prizes, and picnic-style lunch. Upwards of 40 of exhibitors line the park’s Great Lawn, drawing more than 2,000 festival-goers. The day showcases a diverse lineup of ecologically-oriented exhibitors and hands-on demonstrations by experts in tree-planting and care.

For the younger set, there are bucket-truck rides to the treetops and a rope tree-climb with the kids secured in harnesses, plus face painting and crafts. 

A gallery showing of painting, sculpture and mixed media will add an added dimension to the festival for the second consecutive year. The exhibit, called “A Celebration of Trees,” was launched at the Gilbert & Bennett Cultural Center in Wilton April 17 and runs until Monday, May 30. 

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