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Tuesday, February 25 Entertainment

Greenwich Tree Conservancy, Stamford’s Avon co-hosting ‘Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees’ screening

Greenwich Tree Conservancy and Stamford’s Avon Theatre are co-hosting a screening of the documentary “Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees” on Wednesday, March 4, with a post-film Q&A with New York Botanical Garden’s Todd A. Forrest.

Dench is one of Britain's best-loved actresses, but few people know that she holds another great passion, a love for trees. Filmed over the course of a year, 2017’s “Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees” is a study of the changing seasons and their effect on Surrey, the most-wooded county in Britain.

Dench joins tree scientists and historians to unlock the secret lives of trees. With scientific techniques and equipment at her disposal, she is able to truly understand how trees work and gain an insight into their secrets. She discovers how trees feel, learns how they communicate and how they fight off invading armies and extreme weather.

From NASA satellite imagery, Dench is shown just how effective trees are as carbon capture machines that are fighting to protect our planet. It is confirmation that trees aren’t just trees, they are a real community that help each other, humans and the planet.

The Greenwich Tree Conservancy (GTC) is a non-profit established in 2007 to preserve the tree and forest resources of Greenwich to benefit the community, its health and its quality of life. Since that time the Tree Conservancy, with assistance of the town, has planted in excess of 4,500 trees on public lands. In 2019 alone over 500 trees were planted.

In addition, the GTC conducts multiple public tree walks each year, brings speakers to the area which have included Michael Dirr, Doug Tallamy and Peter Wohlleben. The GTC has created a town-wide arboretum and holds numerous workshops open to the public. Through advocacy work the organization is helping to reformulate public policies at both the local and statewide levels. Much of the GTC’s work functions as precedents and templates for other communities and for the development of public/private partnerships. The GTC says it shares Dench’s passion for trees.

Guest speaker Forrest is Arthur Ross Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections at The New York Botanical Garden. He oversees the team of managers, horticulturists and curators who steward the Garden’s plant collections, gardens and glasshouses and develop its celebrated horticulture exhibitions. An advocate for historic trees and forests in urban landscapes and public gardens, Forrest contributed essays to “The Magnificent Trees of The New York Botanical Garden,” “The Trees of North America: Michaux and Redoute’s American Masterpiece” and “Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time.” He joined The New York Botanical Garden in 1998 as a research assistant in the Institute of Economic Botany before becoming Curator of Woody Plants in 1999. Previously, Forrest worked at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wesleyan University and a Master of Forest Science from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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Avon Theatre Film Center, 272 Bedford St., Stamford. Wednesday, March 4, 7:30 p.m. $14.50 non-members; $11 students, seniors; $9 members; free Carte Blanche members. 203-967-3660, avontheatre.org

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