Mike Mushak has been named Norwalk's Tree Advocate of the Year for 2010 and was recognized last Saturday at the Norwalk-Wilton Tree Festival in Cranbury Park.
Mushak is, like last year's winner of the inaugural Norwalk award, Nick Overall, a landscape architect and a neighborhood tree liaison, a fraternity of volunteers committed to the betterment of the urban forest in their localities.
"Street trees add so much to our urban neighborhoods," Mushak says. "They provide both environmental and aesthetic benefits--by reducing heat in the summer, filtering pollution from the air and visually softening the hard edges of the city with lush greenery. It is well-proven that streets with abundant trees are safer, cleaner, more inviting, and even help increase business in commercial districts."
Mushak is the founder and principal of Tuliptree Site Design Inc. and his 30 years in landscape architecture extend over the United States and cover projects such as parks, museums, corporate buildings and urban planning.
In addition to his tree planting and tree care work with the Golden Hill Neighbor/hood Association over the last six years, he has been is active with--and a supporter of--the Norwalk Historical Society, Lockwood-Mathews Museum, St. Paul's-on-the-Green, Norwalk Clean and Green, Norwalk YMCA, Crystal Theatre, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Pine Island Historic Cemetery and Connecticut Friends School.
Recognized at the same time with Mushak as the Tree Steward of Wilton was arborist Halfdan Prahal.
For its commitment to enhancing its municipal arboreal footprint, Norwalk meanwhile has been designated as a "Tree City U.S.A." by the Arbor Day Foundation for the sixth consecutive year, an honor conferred on only 15 communities in the state,.
The festival at Cranbury Park offered a full agenda of environmentally focused exhibits and family-style activities free of charge. It was a collaboration between the Norwalk Tree Alliance, Norwalk Department of Public Works, Wilton Garden Club and Wilton Tree Committee.