MASSENA — Thanks to a partnership between Alcoa and the Massena Village Arbor Committee, four new maple trees planted at Massena Central High School will beautify the campus and help provide shade and energy savings.

It’s one of many ongoing efforts between Alcoa, the Arbor Committee and other organizations around the community. In years past, trees have been planted in various locations and, during presentations at local schools, students have received saplings to take home and plant.

“Alcoa Massena continues to value our relationship with the Village Arbor Committee and the difference that we make together in our community and the environment. Doing this project at the high school was important in these unsettled times,” said Michael Bresett, health and safety superintendent at Alcoa and a member of the Massena Village Arbor Committee.

Andrew McMahon, a member of the Arbor Committee and Massena Electric Department superintendent, said the tree plantings are truly a joint effort.

“The Village Arbor Committee continues to try to improve our community and our neighborhoods. Obviously, the financial support of Alcoa and NYPA (New York Power Authority) have been the key to make it happen. But contributions from Curran Renewable and ongoing support from the village DPW (Department of Public Works) have gotten the maximum number of trees in the ground,” he said.

It’s not only a joint effort between organizations, but also one that involves volunteers and members of the Arbor Committee.

“Our volunteers and board members are so important to getting projects done through the years. Even in this time of social distancing we have had over 50 people contribute in one way or another to getting trees in the ground, and our community is better for it,” Mr. McMahon said.

The volunteers and board members come from all sectors of the community, he said.

“It takes teachers, students, business leaders and service clubs to keep this going,” he said. “It really is a testament to Massena that so many parts of the community come together each year to make these incremental improvements to our environment.”

With the latest effort, four maple trees are now planted at the east end of the high school parking lot.

“Students are anxious right now as we all are. When the students came back it was important to create a calming and appealing environment. The trees and landscaping that Alcoa and the Arbor Committee did had a positive impact. Anything to make us feel a little better right now is worth doing,” high school Principal Alan Oliver said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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