SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Sept. 20, WSWHE BOCES Environmental Conservation and Forestry Instructor Dennis Flynn, along with 18 of his students, joined professional arborists from around New York State for the ninth annual Saluting Branches Day of Service.
Students performed tree care and site beautification using the skills they’ve acquired in their Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. One of 51 sites in the national event, it was the only one in New York State, according to a press release.
Senior Isabelle Edmond of Mechanicville said she was glad to give back to the community and make the cemetery more attractive for visitors.
“We volunteered to take down some trees and prune some trees in order to better help the resting place of veterans and their families,” said Edmond in the release.
During the day, students partnered with industry experts, and were able to pick up tips and make connections.
Roman Gaddeau is a veteran of the Iraq War and an alumni of the program who came back to help Instructor Dennis Flynn, the release states. He said he enjoyed being a chaperone for this special day.
“I think this is important for students, the different generations, especially since the older generations are going away,” Gaddeau said in the release. “The younger generations need to learn about their contributions.”
Instructor Dennis Flynn says he feels proud to support the cemetery.
“Not only are the students getting hands-on experience but they are helping their community,” said Flynn in the release.
Flynn said that several students have family members who are buried at the cemetery and that was another motivation for them to volunteer. This is the seventh year his program has joined in the effort, the release states.