This year’s Medina Arbor Day celebration will be in honor of the late Wilson Southworth
Press Release, Medina Tree Board
MEDINA – The 2018 re-organizational meeting of the Medina Municipal Tree Board began with a moment of silence.
Tree Board members paused to remember their friend and fellow board member, Wilson Southworth, who sadly passed away at age 70 on Dec. 8. Southworth was a long-time member of the Tree Board, its Vice-Chairman and a staunch proponent of reforesting the Village of Medina.
“I spent many a sunny winter afternoon with Wilson, pruning young trees in the village,” said Chris Busch, Tree Board chairman. “Sometimes it was just he and I, sometimes we were joined by other tree board members. We had such a great time pruning trees, conversing and enjoying ourselves. He was such an asset to the board and such a good friend. We all miss him very much.”
Southworth was a strong advocate for planting trees and a very dedicated board member, said Busch.
“I’ll bet not many people knew he was a member of the Tree Board let alone Vice-Chairman.” said Busch. “He really got it when came to the value of street trees in the village. Wilson really understood the impact that tree-lined streets have on neighborhoods and people, and he had an excellent grasp of what was involved in planning, planting and maintaining a village forest. He took the job very seriously and enjoyed it.”
As a fitting tribute to him, the Tree Board voted unanimously to dedicate this years’ Arbor Day celebration to him.
“He’d be so tickled to see this,” said newly elected Tree Board Vice-Chair and Arbor Day Coordinator, Nicole Goyette. “Each year, hundreds of school children attend the Arbor Day celebration in Medina. When he was teaching, his classes were always there with a special song or poem prepared for the occasion. So, it is right and proper that this years’ celebration should be for him.”
Arbor Day in Medina has been billed as “WNY’s biggest and best” Arbor Day celebration.
“As far as we know, it is the biggest and best,” said Goyette. “We’ve had 700-plus school children and dozens of citizens attend for many years. I don’t know of any other Arbor Day in WNY that can top that.”
Goyette said that as part of the tribute to Southworth, some of the Arbor Day activities he created as a teacher will be performed again. A memorial tree will be planted in his memory as well.
“The Tree Board provides a memorial tree program,” said Goyette. “For $250, a tree will be planted somewhere in the village forest and an engraved granite brick placed in the Memorial Tree Garden in front of City Hall. Wilson helped plant that garden.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Village Tree Fund in Wilson Southworth’s memory or wishing to donate a memorial tree and brick in his memory may do so at the Village Clerk’s office.
Credit cards, cash and checks are accepted, and the phone number is 798-0710. Memorial Tree donation forms are available for download by clicking here or at the Clerk’s Office. Completed forms should be turned in to the Village Clerk with the $250 fee.
This years’ celebration will take place at Butts Park on Friday, April 27, at 9 a.m. and will be known as the Wilson Southworth Memorial Arbor Day Celebration.