The event, which was staged by the Cleveland Shade Tree Board, was a combination of recognitions. First of all, this was the Tree Board’s official celebration of Arbor Day. Every year they sponsor an event to commemorate the national day raising awareness of the importance of trees.
Secondly, Cleveland was recognized as a Tree City USA for the 20th straight year. A new sign was presented that will update the sign currently at Exit 25. Cleveland is one of only 10 percent of cities across the nation to be designated as such this many years.
A third event, and second presentation, was to Cleveland Utilities General Manager Tom Wheeler who received a banner recognizing their efforts to help Cleveland become a “Tree Line City” for the 12th consecutive year. Making the presentations was Tom Simpson, East Tennessee Urban Forester with the U.S. Forest Service, who reminded the gathering that, as far as he knows, Cleveland is the only city in America to receive the “Tree Trifecta,” which includes the Tree City, Tree Line and Tree Campus recognitions. Cleveland State Community College was recently recognized as a Tree Campus, completing the trifecta.
A final portion of the ceremony was the completion of an event from last fall celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Greenway. At a Nov. 8, 2011, celebration, it was my privilege to announce the future planting of an “Honor Grove” of trees to recognize individuals and organizations that have made the first five phases of the Greenway possible between 2001 and 2012. A ceremonial planting of the last of two dozen black gum trees took place. The grove, when mature, will reach upward some 50 feet and provide a display of brilliant red foliage in the fall, according to Cleveland Urban Forrester Dan Hartman, who coordinated the planting. A list of those the grove honors is on display at a marker at the entrance to the Greenway off Raider Drive.
As the Greenway continues to grow and mature, so will its newest trees. We look forward to the many more trees that will be planted due to the generosity of the Tree Board and other advocates. Very soon there will be informational markers mounted, giving Greenway patrons interesting botanical tidbits about select trees along the Greenway. Thanks in advance to Dan Hartman and his crew for providing this latest benefit on the Greenway.
If you are interested in purchasing a tree for the Greenway in memory or honor of someone, please contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.