Ancient tree toppled by Rec office
With the school year almost over, many of our children will be attending Painter Park Summer Day Camp. What will be missing this year is a piece of West Haven history.
One quiet night back in September, we lost something that has been a part of Painter Park day camp since it was started 50 years ago by then Parks and Recreation Director Bob Tingley. The large oak tree that grew all by itself alongside the day camp office just fell over sometime during the evening. Not due to a hurricane or thunderstorm, just old age I guess.
It was pretty uneventful. It took down some wires, broke the new fence, but never hit the building. Now of course this could have been tragic if this occurred only one month earlier, in August and during the day. For this is when all the children meet under that tree; either being dropped off in the morning or being picked up at the end of the day. I thank God every day that did not happen.
The tree will be sorely missed, not only for the shade it provided on hot sunny days, but also a meeting place after a long day of camp. The children would get together with someone that maybe in a different group and they haven’t talked to since lunch time. Just think of the friendships that probably were made under that tree over the years. Remember most of these children go to different schools and the only place, other than maybe playing some organized sport, to meet and make new friends would be here at Painter Park Day Camp.
We estimated that tree to be well over 100 years old. What was left was a large totem that I thought about having Thomas Painter carved in the side of it. Unfortunately and sadly with all the vandalism that goes on in Painter I thought better of it. Not sure what we are going to do without that big oak tree, but I know it will be sorely missed.
West Haven Parks and Recreation