City plants trees for Arbor Day
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Last Friday afternoon, eight Monterey oak trees were planted in the Copperas Cove cemetery for Arbor Day.
Parks & Recreation Director Joe Brown said the trees were each sponsored and paid for by individuals within the community. Those who attended last Friday could participate in the planting of the eighth tree, which was planted in honor of the late Tim Molnes, with the tree being sponsored by city manager Andrea Gardner.
Brown called the Monterey oak the “Rolls Royce of oak trees.”
“You can’t kill it; it’s tough, it’s durable. It grows relatively quick. It’s a big tree.” He added that the department has been working to identify “Charlie Brown trees” in the cemetery that are in bad shape and to be removed, and those trees will be replaced.
Brown led a brief program, which kicked off with members of Cub Scouts Pack 251 leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Brown gave a brief speech about the origins of Arbor Day and its founder.
He also shared about his own love for trees, sharing memories as a child and then thoughts as an adult about the trees he saw while stationed in Iraq.
“Being in a war zone, seeing cities with no running water, no sewer services, no schools, road or buildings. No agriculture in the midst of s serious conflict…and yet these trees stood beautiful, presented as symbols of clarity and beauty in Iraq,” Brown said.
In his remarks, he also acknowledged the cemetery advisory board present and mentioned some of the activities the group is working on to change the sustainability of the cemetery, such as working on general maintenance, establishing a tree, bench and fence donation application, something which Brown said will be finished soon. This application will enable community members to donate a bench or a tree in someone’s memory, or add money to the fence fund.
After Mayor Frank Seffrood read the Arbor Day proclamation, attention then shifted to planting the eighth oak tree, with city manager Andrea Gardner saying a few words. She thanked the city staff for their work in making the event possible, and spoke of late police chief Tim Molnes, who passed away nearly a year ago.
“I’ve visited here a number of times and I am very honored to be given the opportunity to purchase a tree that will be planted in his memory,” Garner said. “I think most of you that work with me and were around Tim and I, know how close we were. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t still very dear to me and my family. He not only was a coworker, but he was a tremendous friend to me and my daughters.”
She then asked Tracy, Tim’s widow, to please accept the tree in Tim’s memory.