Goodbye and good luck to long-time board member Martin Smolin, who retired at the end of last year. Martin joined the board in soon after it was formed in 1995 and is responsible for many of the Arboretum’s accomplishments and best moments. He brought financial expertise and was responsible for our establishing an informal endowment fund for major initiatives. It was this fund that allowed us to do the extensive tree work needed to recover from the 2011 storms, and it also made it possible for us to obtain a $10,000 matching grant to extend our boardwalk in 2010.
Martin was a very active and dedicated Board member. He served as docent or official photographer for our garden tours, joined in work days, and drafted our original by-laws. He found many excellent speakers for educational events, including Native American expert Barry Keegan and Arborist Craig Stevens (see story on page 2). He also recruited half a dozen current and former board members, wrote accurate and wonderfully concise minutes as recording secretary for years, and made all those beautiful wooden signs that mark our trails.
As a member of the Saw Mill River Audubon Society board, he brought the Arboretum into the Greater Brinton Brook preserve’s wider sphere of protection. His connection there also gave us access to SMRAS experience and expertise that was enormously helpful in building our boardwalks and our gazebo. Plus he kept us aware of the ecological impact of our choices of automobiles. He was a thoughtful and thought-provoking member of the Arboretum team, and he will be greatly missed. Thank you for all you have done, Martin; please don’t be a stranger to either the board or our wonderful wetland preserve.