The first of over 70 trees donated to the Town of Riverhead by Riverhead Raceway was planted at the town's animal shelter, to provide comfort and shade, on Friday.
Other trees will be planted at other locations around Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said.
The trees were a gift to the town by Riverhead Raceway, who sponsored a June event in conjunction with The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing's Green Clean Program. The NASCAR program kicked off in 2009 to help mitigate carbon emissions produced by racing, planting 10 trees for each green flag that drops.
An event was held at Riverhead Raceway in June resulting in a gift of approximately $10,000 -- and a total of 71 trees -- to the town by owners Barbara and Jim Cromarty.
The first planting of the trees, Walter said, will be planted at the town's animal shelter on Youngs Avenue in Calverton to provide "much-needed shade" for the animals and help beautify the facility.
"This thoughtful donation by Riverhead Raceway will provide comfort in the hot summer months to the dogs in our care and will improve the look of our somewhat ‘ramshackle’ animal shelter," Walter said. "We in government operate on such bare-bones budgets that we cannot always do all we'd like to do. These trees are much appreciated as they will provide comfort to man's best friend and will make Riverhead that much more beautiful."
NASCAR has the largest nationwide tree planting program in sports, planting trees for each green flag that drops during a NASCAR-sanctioned race, and capturing 100 percent of the carbon produced by the on-track racing.
Donated trees will be supplied by Verderber's Landscape Nursery.
Walter and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who attended the first planting, thanked the Cromartys for their generosity.