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Updated: BBWC to honor founders with tree dedication Oct. 25

Public invited to brief ceremony in City Park
Oct 23, 2019

Belfast — City Park lies on traditional Wabanaki land, hearkening back six to eight thousand years in history. Its descendants, to this day, respect and honor nature as the source of all life.

There, members of the ancestral Belfast Garden Club created a public space where citizens could walk and enjoy nature without being splashed or run over by carriages. In 2014, the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and Greenways Ecocenter collaborated to research and map all the trees in the park for an official Arboretum with a collection of trees, both native and exotic, whose grandeur graces the park, inspiring respect and honor.

The entry pavilion was built in 2015, with interpretive displays and the new map and brochure available. Now BBWC is initiating a tradition of giving an Honor Tree to show appreciation for people who have shown honor for trees, green spaces, trails, and all of nature.

Originally planned for Wednesday, but rained out, the dedication of BBWC's first donated tree takes place Friday at 11 a.m. The tree honors BBWC founders Skip and Jo Pendleton, Maynard and Joan Clemons, and Lucy Carver. All are welcome to participate; nearest parking is at the swimming pool

BBWC sees this event as planting the seed for a new tradition at City Park: to add to the Arboretum collection, or to replace dead and dying trees.

The Pendletons, Clemonses and Carver worked from 1999 to 2007, when BBWC was called the Passy Coalition, building membership, trails, community awareness, conservation initiatives. With a larger membership, the name was changed to encompass the four Belfast Bay watersheds (Goose River, Wescot Stream, Passagassawakeag and Little River). Their continued leadership led to greater efforts involving increasing numbers of projects and participants.

The sole survivor at this time is Mrs. Joan Clemons, who was BBWC’s publicity and outreach person for the first dozen years.

Because the founders took a long view of conservation, BBWC has chosen a tree for climate change — a tulip poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera, a southern species. A few are living and thriving in Belfast now, and are expected to tolerate much warmer temperatures. BBWC research has found no invasive species known to attack the tulip poplar.

"The founders of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition have stepped aside to their followers," the group said in a press release. "Their seed, well-planted, is growing, blossoming, and bearing fruit, as it also builds community awareness and resilience."

".... The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope." — Wendell Berry


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