On Arbor Day, April 28, 2017, Mayor Thomas Roach on behalf of the City of White Plains proclaimed Arbor Day at Ridgeway School and recognized White Plains as a Tree City USA. WPBF arranged for the donation and planting of a sugar maple at the school at a public ceremony. The tree was donated anonymously and honors WPBF Founder Brian Wallach and Beth Wallach, both past presidents and long-time supporters. Department of Public Works Commissioner Richard Hope presented the Tree City USA Flag that has been awarded to the City of White Plains annually for more than 30 years and flies at the school where WPBF plants trees each Arbor Day.
The event included musical performances by the Ridgeway Band and Ridgeway Chorus. Also participating in the ceremony were Ridgeway Principal Tashia Brown; WPBF President Karen Quinn; Kathleen Masterson, WPBF Arbor Day chair; and Barbara Ramsdell, past president and director, who talked about the many contributions the Wallachs have made to make White Plains beautiful, including not only gardens but other amenities. The donor also submitted a letter noting, “So much of White Plains’ beauty and character is a direct result of the effort, dedication and love that Brian and Beth feel for their community. … They are good-hearted, kind and generous people who are very dedicated to making their city a beautiful and happy place for all to enjoy. Their pride and deep love for White Plains continues to inspire those who know them to do more and help this city grow.”
Pat Laidman of the The Care of Trees presented spruce seedlings to the students. Arbor Day has been a signature program of WPBF since 1984. Each year an individual may permanently honor or remember loved ones and friends by donating the tree for approximately $300.