The Children's Tree and Art Foundation Announces Official Launch

Share Article

The Children's Tree and Art Foundation official launch will be held on Friday May 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm in Mackay Elementary School in Tenafly, New Jersey. As the result of 5 years of relentless efforts, Steven Strompf accomplished the promise he had made to his two kids asking for help: "The big tree is coming down - Dad, you have to do something!"

The big tree is coming down - Dad, you have to do something!

Past News Releases


The impressive collection of 17 art pieces, made from the wood of a rare 350-year-old white ash tree, cut down for safety issues, will be presented for the first time to the public during the opening evening of the Children's Tree & Art Foundation. 17 artists responded with enthusiasm to Strompf's idea to create art from the tree to prevent it from being turned into mulch. He invented this creative way to save the tree that was considered as a masterpiece of nature and part of Tenafly's History.

In October of 2005, Steve Strompf's two children came back from their school, the Mackay Elementary School in Tenafly, New Jersey in shock by the news. The 350-year-old white ash tree had to be cut down because it was dying and had become a serious safety issue. After talking to the principal and some other parents from the school, Strompf decided to get a second opinion to find out exactly what the condition of the tree was from an expert. The tree was thoroughly examined by an arborist -- the diagnosis was confirmed that the tree was badly decayed and considered dangerous and needed to be removed immediately.

Strompf began to think, "How can we save this tree that is considered as a masterpiece of nature and part of Tenafly's History?"

Strompf first called Mira Nakashima, known for celebrating the natural beauty of trees in her furniture. She offered to create a masterpiece from this amazing wood, and gave instructions to save a log of approximately 15 - feet long by 17- feet in circumference. Then Strompf began to contact other artists, world-renown woodturners and woodworkers to see if they would be interested in using other sections of the tree that remained. The response was far beyond his expectations: Gary Knox Bennett, David Ellsworth, J. Paul Fennell, Ron Fleming, William Hunter, Greg Jensen, John Jordan, Bonnie Klein, Bill Luce, Johannes Michelsen, Jere Osgood, Michael Peterson, Binh Pho, Mark Sfirri, Jacques Vesery, Wendy Maruyama, all loved the idea to create a piece of art to help keep the spirit and essence of the tree alive.

Due to this overwhelming response, Strompf founded The Children's Tree and Art Foundation, a 501-3C Public Charity. The Foundation owns the amazing collection of the 17 works and will be responsible for giving exposure to those pieces to the public. The Foundation is also committed to supporting the arts and environmental awareness for children and young adults in the State of New Jersey. The CTAF places particular emphasis on supporting and funding programs, projects and ideas that will encourage the responsiveness of community participation based on the value of conservation and the respect for the preservation of our environment.

More information about the Foundation, any support and upcoming events go on line at:

Friday May 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm at the Mackay Elementary School, located at
111 Jefferson Avenue, Tenafly, 07670, New Jersey.
The Opening Evening is a free access to the public. Adults only.
After a few speeches, Benjy Wenzelberg, a student from 5th grade at Mackay School will perform on the piano the song he composed and wrote in tribute to the tree. Then the Englewinds musicians group, an eco-music ensemble, will perform the music composed and arranged especially for this event and which include a percussion instrument made out of the last piece of wood from the tree. Musicians include Tomoko Ohno, piano, Atsuko Sato, bassoon, James Musto, percussion and Sarah Davol, oboe. For more information on the ensemble:

Unfortunately, for safety reason, the school will not allow the public a large access to the collection while on display inside the school.

For the press only:
From May 15 to June 28, 2010
The exhibition of the entire collection will stay on display at the Mackay Elementary School, 111 Jefferson Avenue, Tenafly, 07670, New Jersey.

For the public:
After the opening night, the public will have access to the entire collection again over the summer: from July 1 to August 31, 2010 - Tenafly Public Library - 100 Riveredge Road, Tenafly / Phone: (201) 568-8680
Library's hours: Monday 10 am to 9 pm, Tuesday 10 am to 9 pm, Wednesday 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday: 10 am to 9 pm, Friday: 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday 12 am to 4 pm (Closed Sundays in August)

Further exhibition access will have to be checked on our web site at:


Caroline Aubin
Phone number: 201 233 13 83

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website