Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Arbor Day ceremony draws crowd

(April 16, 2015) The Ocean Pines Garden Club greeted close to 100 people during an Arbor Day Ceremony at the community center last Thursday.
The ceremony doubled as a memorial service for former club members and their loved ones, and included a performance by the Delmarva Chorus and a poetry reading by Lilly Cordwell.
Garden Club President Gail Jankowski noted the ceremony marked the 25th anniversary of the original meeting in 1991, when the group planted a tree in Bainbridge Park.
Arbor Day began in 1872 as the brainchild of Nebraska newspaper editor Julius Sterling Morton, according to club member Suzanne Brooke.
“He said we need to put back what we use up so it will be there for those who come after us. Today we call that sustainability,” Brooke said. “Morton understood the concept before the current buzzword came into use, and certainly before becoming a committed green society.”
Brooke said the benefits of planting a tree include shade, shelter and food for wildlife, adding that trees absorption of carbon dioxide and production of oxygen make them a natural air filter.
“Plant a tree to save money,” she said. “Cleverly planted trees can reduce energy costs for heating and cooling homes. Plant a tree for the environment because trees take nutrients from the soil and thereby help protect our drinking water and the water in our coastal byways.”
The Garden Club has planted trees on Arbor Day “in loving memory of family and friends who have passed away during the proceeding year … since the beginning,” Brooke said, adding in 2006 the group began making contributions to the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Trees in Memory Program.
“In 2007, 203 trees were planted in memory of those honored in our ceremony,” she said. “All around us at Pintail Park we see the beautiful memorial trees.”
Ocean Pines Association President Dave Stevens gave a proclamation on behalf of the board of directors, while District Four Community Commissioner Chip Bertino spoke for the county.
“I have to tell you that I’m a little bit in awe,” Bertino said. “You guys at the Garden Club in many ways are heroes of at least mine. As someone who has a brown thumb – not a green thumb – as someone who has unfortunately killed more houseplants and more plants in my garden than anybody that I know, except my wife, I hold in great esteem those who can make plants and trees come alive.”
Bertino said geraniums, in particular, bring back fond memories of his grandparents.
“My grandmother always had geraniums,” he said. “When I look at my house and I have geraniums in my garden, those that remain alive … brings back fond memories. For what you do in our community with the gardens that you keep and the trees that you plant, as somebody who has spent an awful lot of time in this community, you really do make this a beautiful place to be. And a lot of times it goes maybe unappreciated.”
Club member Penny McGrath said the club chose an Acer Palmatum Bloodgood, commonly referred to as a Japanese maple, as this year’s memorial tree.
McGrath said the trees typically grow to 15-20 tall and bloom in the spring.