Our Community Buoy Tree is Sparkling

Sparkling that is, with the community’s help in so many ways, and especially because so many contributed their talent and time to the tree! Thank you to each and everyone who created the (guess how many) buoys on the tree!

Did you guess how many buoys are on the tree?

The numbers came in by 4:00 PM Tuesday, December 22 – all 35 of the guesses, ranging from 108 to 690 and the correct answer is 218!

The closest guess UNDER the correct number was 216 from Angelo Renna, and the closest OVER the correct number was 221 from Kevin Lynch. Each won a delicious home-baked cake in time for Christmas. Since they were both off-island, Angela gifted his cake to Betty Peischff, a chocolate bundt cake made by Linda Mrowka, and Kevin gifted his, a flourless chocolate cake by Staley Sedaunoui, to Michele Klimczak! (Thank you ladies for offering these 2 prizes!)

Remember to check out more photos of the buoy tree and follow and tag Fishers Island’s new Instagram @finyinfo06390

Thank you all for playing the guessing game!

Counting all the buoys on and off the tree that were painted this year we reached a total of over 230 and no telling how many different people are the contributing artists!

Amateur videos with a ‘walkabout’ from top to bottom, but best to stop by and visit yourself!

Have We Got Buoys! Every buoy is beautiful!

Thank you to Harrison for the delivery and Tom for the construction!

We had a collection of buoys to start with, compiled by the Conservancy’s coastal debris clean-up effort lead by Michele Klimczak, and others that have washed ashore.

The tree started with a beautifully constructed frame built by Tom Kexel and delivered to the spot by Harrison Hall. Thank you to Tom for his creative and professional construction work and to Race Rock Gardening for the supplies for the frame. Thank you to Kristen Peterson for sourcing other stashes of found buoys to add to the pile too.

Community members of all ages, families, organizations, shops, districts, businesses, and our own Fishers Island lobstermen are represented on the tree.

We started to add completed buoys to the tree on Saturday, November 21, it withstood upwards of 65 mph winds in late November, and the installation was pretty much finished up on Sunday, December 13. The former spot of the Fort HG Wright Parade Ground’s viewing stand is now a place to visit, admire, smile, and take a few pics. 

Buoy Tree: Community Collaboration At Its Best

The Fishers Island community generously donated time and resources to create the festive Buoy Tree currently on display at the Parade Grounds.

By Betty Anne Rubinow
Fishers Island Conservancy
December 6, 2020

A Buoy Tree has taken center stage on the Parade Grounds west of the State Troopers’ barracks. The tree, nearly completed in early December, exists due to the generous efforts of the Fishers Island community.

Last summer, FishersIsland.net Editor Jane Ahrens happened to see Michele Klimczak moving buoys out of the Fishers Island Conservancy maintenance shed. Michele clears marine debris from Fishers Island shores for FIConservancy, and the buoys were piling up.

“Michele hoped we could do something better than just toss the buoys into the dumpster,” Jane said. “So we Googled ‘recycle buoys’ and a bunch of Buoy Trees popped up. What a great idea, we thought!”

The first step was getting approval from FIFerry commissioners and FIConservancy President Tom Sargent. FIFerry District manages the Parade Grounds, which are owned by the Town of Southold. FIConservancy restored and maintains the Parade Grounds grasslands.

An informal committee, comprised of Jane, Michele, FIConservancy Executive Director Kristen Peterson and The Lighthouse Works Director Nate Malinowski, set the project in motion.

Kristen started at Race Rock Garden Co. where Tom Kexel offered to build the support structure. David Burnham helped with building materials and also donated buoys that were in one of his bunkers.

“Our buoy collection continued to grow as Fishers Island Oyster Farm and numerous Island residents, including Joe Rogan, the Gaumonds, and Fishers Island Oyster Farm, dropped off buoys to be painted,” Jane said. “Nate helped figure out how to attach the buoys to the tree, and I have added most of them. Fishers Island Yacht Club, with the help of Manager Beth Arsenault, donated a lot of rope for hanging the buoys, and John Ski gave us some as well.”

A small solar panel with three spotlights illuminate the tree. Jay Cushing and his team at the Electric Company repaired the socket at the base of the nearest streetlamp to supply electricity. When the tree is completed, strings of white lights donated by Our Lady of Grace Rummage, will circle the tree.

“The best part is that so many people have painted beautiful buoys for the tree, including Mrs. Sawyer’s art students from Fishers Island School. I have the names of about 60 people who have painted buoys, and there are more that have been dropped off but with no name,” Jane said.

“There are about 125 buoys on the tree so far. Every time I go to the tree, or open the trunk of my car, there are more buoys. Several have been painted and sent back to the Island—wonderful!”

December 6, 2020

Please contact us at finyinfo@gmail.com or text 203-801-8431 if you have any questions.

Please drop off finished buoys at the front of the tree at the spot overlooking the Parade Ground and WE will add your buoys to the tree or begin to make a buoy garden. Please don’t add them yourself. And check on the ground behind the tree for buoys that need to be painted!

Did you paint a buoy for the tree? Please send us a photo of your buoy, or of you with your buoy, and we will add a photo to the gallery of all the contributors! finyinfo@gmail.com

Please scroll down for more photos, and click any image to view a larger version! Just a sampling!

Fishers Island Oyster Farm took a turn at updating the Holiday tune “Let it Snow Let it Snow”  written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in July 1945 during a heatwave and made famous by Dean Martin.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But Fishers is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Wow, it doesn’t show signs of abating
We’ve oysters for taste and relating
Buoys on the tree all aglow
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Click HERE to order oysters for pick up on Fridays after the holidays.

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