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08/09/2022 03:45 PM

Go Mad For Free Trees

Mad 4 Trees is at it again with a free native tree giveaway at Bauer Park on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon. At least 80 trees are up for grabs and organizers expect the allotment will go quickly. Pre-registration is encouraged.

President and co-founder of the organization Fran Brady said the event is an important component of the organization’s ultimate goal of planting 200 trees in Madison by the time of the Town’s 200th anniversary in 2026. Brady partnered with former Madison Tree Warden Bob Kuchta in 2021 to create the organization with the goal of getting their planting goal accomplished.

Brady said this event is a critical step in Mad 4 Trees’ long-term mission.

“The fall native tree giveaway will be our second large event. Earlier this spring we were able to give away 44 trees, dogwood, red maples, mountain maples, and franklinia, while planting 20 around the parking lot at Salt Meadow Park,” Brady said. “It is our hope to see at least 200 trees planted around Madison as part of our wish to celebrate our town's 200th anniversary of its incorporation in May 2026. We also wish to raise awareness of the climate crisis and the impact it is having on the globe and especially on our shoreline towns.”

Brady said tree loss along the shoreline and in Madison particularly has had a documented impact on area ecosystems.

“Madison has lost thousands of trees over the last five years due to severe storms, drought, and invasive insects like gypsy moths and emerald ash borers. This significant devastation has been exacerbated by our changing climate, if not directly associated with it,” said Brady.

According to Brady, citizens taking on the responsibility of planting trees is a community effort that can make a difference.

“Why plant trees? Planting trees is a small but visible step that everyone can take to contribute to the overall good. As the naturalist Jane Goodall said, ‘Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.’ Trees provide several beneficial attributes including sequestering carbon, providing shade, mitigating storm water runoff, beautifying your home and town, and are home to dozens of insects, birds, and wildlife,” said Brady.

Now that the goal of 200 trees planted is within reach, Brady said the group is looking at an even larger commitment.

“Though we state our goal is to plant 200 trees for our 200th anniversary, we really would like to see our passion for trees expand across our town to a degree that we can plant 2,000 trees while spreading the message of their importance to the environment,” said Brady.

The trees, given in three- to seven-gallon containers, will be given to anyone who signs the Tree Care Pledge. Brady also reminded spring Mad 4 Trees recipients to water their new plantings, especially in light of the terrible conditions the current drought is having along the shoreline.

“Bob (Kuchta) and I have been down at Salt Meadow Park at least four times to water those new trees. They really need water when first planted, and considering the drought, they just really need that water,” said Brady. “Conserving water is a concern for those along the shore, but you can still properly water these plants without using too much water.”

The Bauer Park event is Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10 noon at Bauer Park, 257 Copse Road, Madison. The entrance is next to the farm house. A rain date has been set for Sunday, Sept. 18 with the same hours.

For more information about the organization, visit To preregister for a tree, email Mad4Trees is a component fund of the Madison Foundation, and a “sister” project of the Madison Pollinator Pathway program.