Letter to the Editor

On the Redesign at French Square

Dear Editor,

In response to some inaccurate reported comments from our Town Manager Austin Faison, during last week’s remote Town Council meeting on WCAT, the following will set the record straight. Of late, many residents have asked, or called me, about the status of the upcoming project and what will happen to the trees.

 To correct Mr. Faison’s comment to Anita regarding the age of the remaining trees in French Square, the central Maple Tree was initially planted by the late Lewis Winter, when he worked – for over 40 years – for the DPW, and later as Tree Warden. This hefty and healthy Maple tree is about 75 years old, and a statuesque example of  this type. It was also the only tree in the old park incorporated into the new design of the Square.

 The two healthy and graceful side trees are Red Jade Crabapple trees, which are over 35 years old, still healthy, flowering annually, and providing a vibrant, colorful lower-scale relief to the park. One tree was planted in the memory of John & Doris Sullivan by their children; the other crabapple was donated by Mildred Jennings.

 The distinctive, handsome White Birch tree at the back of the Park is the 2nd tree donated by the DiMento family in memory of Mr. &Mrs. Capezza; the first birch having succumbed to a borer disease. This white birch, about 25 years old now, is an living asset of shade, color and inspiration to many people.

These trees, as I discussed with DPW’s Steve Calla, would be excessively costly to remove and relocate; the big maple alone being at least $60,000. If there are residents who would be willing to underwrite the removal and relocation of the smaller crabapples (with no guarantee of survival), they should make their interests known NOW, to either the Town Manager, or better yet, Mr. Calla.

 The flagpole, originally donated by the Winthrop Yacht Club, will soon be removed and relocated at a later date, with much help from (& kudos to) the DPW.  Further, (prior to current alerts), many of the perennials plants, bulbs, shrubs and some small trees have been dug up and relocated to other areas nearby, with hands-on volunteer-resident help.  More about other items saved from French Square will follow once all reclamation has been completed.

 Please see some pictures of last Spring’s colorful displays of Nature. Originally planted long ago by the Beautification Comm., these displays will no longer be seen for quite some time at French Square (unless replaced in the new design).

Regards & Regrets

for the Square,

Frank M. Costantino

Founder, Winthrop Beautifcation Comm.

Designer – French Square

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