ESSEX — For many years there has been concern about the appearance of the West Avenue entrance into Essex Village. Following a public hearing in 2001, Augie Pampel, Essex Tree Warden, requested that the Essex Tree Committee develop a plan for the area and that the existing arborvitae trees remain in situ until a West Avenue Gateway Plan had been developed.
Now, 14 years later, with the help of local funding and cooperation, the plan is underway and work has begun to beautify this Essex Village gateway.
As residents enter Essex Village, they will see new Eastern Red Cedar trees providing both screening and greenery along West Ave. to the intersection with Routes 154 and 153, making the Fire Department rear buildings and Eversource electric sub-station far less visible.
The significant funds for this project were equally provided by The Essex Foundation and the Essex Fire Department with a smaller contribution by the Essex Tree Committee. Dave Caroline and his Town crew cleared the site prior to the planting and Fred Weber and Associates and his crew skillfully handled the planting of the large specimen trees. Ken Bombaci, a member of the Essex Tree Committee, was instrumental in procuring the beautiful Eastern Red Cedar trees.
Additionally, Augie Pampel, Bruce Glowac, President of the Essex Foundation, and Fred Weber are developing landscape designs for the state property at the intersection of Routes 154 and 153 opposite West Ave. The landscape design will require state approval prior to implementation, but the hope is that the landscaping will begin in 2016.
In the meantime, the Connecticut Department of Transportation has cleared the property of invasive species and undesirable vegetation. The goal is to plant areas with attractive, low maintenance, indigenous species of trees and shrubs.
Funding from The Essex Foundation was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the late Elizabeth “Diz” Callender. The Essex Foundation is a local non-profit public charitable foundation dedicated to the betterment of the community of Essex and its residents. Foundation President Glowac noted, “The Essex Foundation is proud to be a means through which Mrs. Callender’s wishes are being fulfilled.”
Pampel, in turn, expressed his appreciation to The Essex Foundation and Essex Fire Department, whose combined funds finally took this project off the shelf and caused it to swing into action along West Ave. and beyond.