Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Living Legacy program a green way to remember

By Rick Palsgrove

Eastside Editor

Planting a tree and watching it grow can be a beautiful and long lasting way to commemorate an event or remember a loved one.

Through the Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Department’s Living Legacy program, organizations and individuals can register to have a commemorative tree planted in one of the city’s six parks or other city owned public property where appropriate.

According to Reynoldsburg Parks and Recreation Director Joe Brown, the city’s Living Legacy program, which is modeled on other programs from around the country, began last year with the planting of three trees.

“We expect this year to be a big year for the program,” said Brown.

Under the Living Legacy program, a tree can be planted to: establish a tradition, celebrate the birth of a child, memorialize a loved one, commemorate a wedding, celebrate a graduation, as a Valentine’s gift, or to recognize the accomplishments of an individual, group or organization.

“Planting a tree is a great way to develop a sense of community,” said Brown. “A tree can be planted that honors a family, a tradition or accomplishment and then you can watch that tree grow for a long time. It’s a really good thing for the community.”

Brown said the program also helps the city’s parks.

“It’s a great way to put trees back in the parks,” said Brown. “We’ve lost a lot of trees to the ash borer.”

Brown said each Living Legacy tree will have a 5.5 x 7.5 inch commemorative plaque mounted on a 4-foot steel pipe installed in the ground by the tree. Additionally, he said the city plans to replace four existing commemorative plaques from a previous tree program with the new plaques.

“The plaques look really great,” said Brown.

Applicants can choose from the following types of trees: cherry, Chinese elm, white pine, serviceberry, Washington Hawthorne, redbuds, hornbeams, sweet gum, spruce, London plane, maples and Zelkova.

The cost is $200 per tree under the Living Legacy program. The parks and recreation department will order and plant the tree. The city will maintain the tree.

Trees can be planted in the spring and up until early October, according to Brown. According to the program’s guidelines, a specific planting site may be requested by the donor and the city will try to fulfill that request if possible. If the donor does not specify a site, or the requested site cannot be accommodated, then the city staff will choose a planting site for the tree.

For information or to complete an application form for the Living Legacy program, visit www.ci.reynoldsburg.oh.us and click on the parks and recreation department.

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