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Apr 26, 2011 11:45 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Offer To Plant Cherry Trees In Agawam Park Withdrawn

Apr 28, 2011 4:38 PM

The Southampton Garden Club has formally withdrawn its offer to donate more than a dozen cherry trees to Southampton Village and plant them in Agawam Park, citing objections from the village’s Commission on Veterans Patriotic Events.

The club’s decision arrived via a letter members mailed to Village Hall last week. The letter is expected to be presented at the Southampton Village Board work session on Tuesday, April 26, at 5 p.m. in Village Hall on Main Street in Southampton Village.

The club had pitched an idea to line Agawam Park with 16 Sargent cherry trees. The club had planned to underwrite the project, as well as chip in toward the village’s efforts to raise money to renovate its aging war memorials in the park.

The veterans committee objected, however, claiming the tress would obstruct the war memorials, and could create a mess in the park.

“We inadvertently raised these issues of controversy,” explained Garden Club member Linda Fraser. “We never intended it to be such. Our intentions were always to do things that we thought were for the betterment of the overall community and also would highlight and draw focus to the war memorial. So we’ve decided, given the controversy, it would probably be in the best interest of the community at large to withdraw our offers.”

Mayor Mark Epley and Trustee Nancy McGann had praised the plan, but Bill Frankenbach, the chairman of the veterans group, strongly opposed it, claiming it would detract from the monuments.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a public hearing on the village’s proposed $23.6 million dollar budget for next year. The board is also expected to approve legislation banning plastic bags from village checkout counters.

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Ridiculous, that would have been a beautiful addition to the park and have enhanced the memorials.
By RealLocal (76), Bridgehampton on Apr 26, 11 11:53 AM
2 members liked this comment
Realocal from Bridgehampton? Well I'm realocal from Southampton village. I lived on Jobs Lane and played in that park and I say Bill Frankenbach and other veterans are right. That many trees would detract from the Memorial. Actually the Village fathers and the Garden Club should put their energies to beautifying the major entrance to the Village on North Sea Road. The residents from Hillcrest are looking to the museum on the corner. That could use some help. People who have more knowl-edge in landscaping ...more
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 29, 11 2:54 PM
Not ridiculous at all. As you can see from the rendering, the trees would have detracted from the monument's being the focal point of Agawam Park. The cherry trees will be just as beautiful somewhere else if the Garden Club will extend their generousity.
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Apr 26, 11 12:07 PM
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Apr 26, 11 12:13 PM
Actually, It IS ridiculous...As I see from the rendering above, the trees would have framed the monument wonderfully, and brought significant beauty to the park. Talk about ungrateful. Shame on those who opposed it, for their self-centered narrow-mindedness. All they saw was how they thought it would affect their monument, rather then see how it would benefit the park as a whole. An enhanced park attracts more visitors (Hello...Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC, anyone?!), therefore increasing ...more
By TheWaterMillian (34), Water Mill on Apr 26, 11 12:53 PM
1 member liked this comment
Watermillian, You use the words "their monument". Yes that's right it belongs to the locals of the Village of Southampton. you have the windmill in the middle of the hamlet and I don't remember anyone from SH village telling the local's in Watermill what to do on that green. You like the Cherry trees? well go on ldown there and look at them.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 29, 11 3:00 PM
No one was telling the Village of Southampton what to do, so why would you even phrase your comment that way? An organization made a very generous offer that would have benefited the park, Southampton Village residents, and the thousands of people that visit the park every year (locals or not). In turn, they were told what NOT to do, ie: Thanks but no thanks. It's just sad.
And furthermore, I do enjoy the cherry trees in Water Mill every spring, and that's why I know that many people would have ...more
By TheWaterMillian (34), Water Mill on Sep 14, 11 3:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
These trees would have enhanced the memorial, not detracted from it. Too bad that such a generous offer was met with such unfounded dissent.
By fcmcmann (417), Hampton Bays on Apr 26, 11 1:09 PM
All I can say if when they need $$$ for the momorial, not one dime from me. Cherry trees would have been a beautiful addition to a dull momuement.
By tim2011 (18), southampton on Apr 26, 11 2:00 PM
It's true, the cherry trees would have framed the monument nicely. What's krazy is how oversized and out of scale the American flags look against the beautiful monument in the accompanying photo. They would look much better at half the height and size and flanking the monument as opposed to randomly being place in front of it.

Just my 2 cents...
By Agawam Yacht Club (69), Southampton on Apr 26, 11 2:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
The cherry trees could frame it nicely, while they are young.

They have the potential to grow to thirty feet in height.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 26, 11 3:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
Unfortunate... It would have been a beautiful addition to the park and a fitting tribute to the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. i thought is was a wonderful idea...
By Toto (25), southampton on Apr 26, 11 4:00 PM
2 members liked this comment
Please they will cause a ''MESS IN THE PARK',,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
By Etians rd (543), Southampton on Apr 26, 11 4:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
It is a shame the offer had to be withdrawn, they would have been a beautiful addition to the park. What is objectionable is coming into the village by 7-11. Maybe the trees should replace what's there??
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Apr 26, 11 5:26 PM
I guess there will be no dog run in Agawam Park either... Would be nice if the Garden club maybe auction or sell the trees and give the money to a local charity affiliated with local current veterans or active duty soldier to support their families needs. That would be as beautiful as the trees in the park.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Apr 26, 11 7:54 PM
How stupid-cherry blossum trees were never a problem in our nation's capital. The veterans are plain wrong this time.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Apr 26, 11 8:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
The size of flag poles and flags in the proposal overwhelmed the simple lines of monument. Bad proportions. Looked like Dumbo's ears.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Apr 26, 11 10:58 PM
The trees would have been wonderful.

Frankenbach is wrong and way too sensitive here.
He should be grateful for the Club's very generous offer.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Apr 27, 11 5:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
I had no idea that veterans ran the town. good to know.
By littleplains (305), olde england on Apr 27, 11 6:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Others are better prepared to judge than I whether or not the design and upkeep of the proposed trees at Agawam Park was a good or bad idea. But the offer to plant these trees and the subsequent withdrawal of it by the Club was both generous and gracious, the response from Mr. Frankenbach was neither.
By Viewpoint (26), Southampton on Apr 27, 11 8:47 AM
You can see for yourself how beautiful the trees would look,go to the Flying Point baseball field (Downs Park) in the next week or two. They look just fine after blossoming too. If somebody wanted to plant cherry trees near my father's grave in Calverton National Cemetary, I would be ecstatic.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Apr 27, 11 9:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
This says so much about what is going awry with our once beautiful community. The idea that planting trees will "make a mess" says so much. I think we should look at who runs the community, and who makes decisions and who is afraid to make decisions. The offer was generous, thoughtful and would have been beautiful. The people of SH lose again.
By sunshine (47), southampton on Apr 27, 11 9:51 AM
2 members liked this comment
Agawam Park is already well planted and maintained. There are plenty of needy areas that could use sprucing up. Unfortunately, many garden club members are primarily summer residents and not that familiar with the area, so turn to what they easily see, rather than look around for what needs doing. Along with the entrances to the village, the Parish museum grounds could use their touch.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Apr 27, 11 10:21 AM
2 members liked this comment
The monument should be razed and moved. It is blocking the view.
By derekcrane (1), Southampton Village on Apr 28, 11 8:14 AM
what a name derekcrane Ha Ha
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Apr 29, 11 3:05 PM
SandyDog21 Hit the nail right on the head that really looks nice as a gateway to our town
By nitro bitro (1), southampton on Apr 28, 11 4:57 PM
the cherry trees in washington dc don't detract from the monuments there...but somehow they would in southampton? my relatives are on that monument and on behalf of them, whomever objected is ridiculous and or as old as summertime. the person, not the season - although close.
By kaluss45 (44), southampton on Sep 14, 11 4:14 PM