LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
ARBOR DAY 2020-
In the shadow of this Pandemic, there is flora and fauna living in the nature of newborn animals and in the trees beginning to spread their limbs while leafing out. This new life is radiating hope that there will be bright coming dawn while lending mindfulness that everything will be alright if patience and endurance are exercised and practiced.
Celebrating this year’s Arbor Day has a deeper meaning because of this hard time, and dedicating this oak tree in Rick Clapper’s name couldn’t be more appropriate. He was a happy guy, a man who would help anyone in need, and a man much revered. He worked hard for Lake Geneva in the early mornings, and many times into the night, as well as weekends. His face beamed out from the city truck he drove with an always cheery smile and sometimes a wave.
The Bur Oak Tree in Rick’s honor was donated by Bartlett Tree Experts and planted in Donian Park, which was his favorite park in all of Lake Geneva. Bartlett Tree Experts was extremely generous in donating this wonderful young tree.
Due to social distancing, only Jon Foster, city arborist, and Candice Kirchberg, tree board chair, along with Rick’s wife, Chris (and immediate family) attended the planting dedication and Arbor Day celebration. At the last minute, the city gave permission for the whole ‘gang’ of other city workers who knew Rick so well, to visit.
That was the most satisfying and wonderful gesture on the part of city officials. This poem seems to catch the very heart and soul of what Rick Clapper believed and devoted his life to:
“What does he plant, who plants a tree?
He plants in sap and leaf and wood,
In love of home and loyalty,
And far-cast thought of civic good.
His blessing’s on the neighborhood,
Who, in the hollow of his hand,
Holds all the growth of all our land,
A nation’s growth from sea to sea,
Stirs in his heart, who plants a tree.”
From Henry Brunner’s; The Heart of a Tree.”
ATC will also be donating $300.00 to the city of Lake Geneva for what we’re hoping to use toward planting White Pines near Four Season’s Park. Lake Geneva is proud to be a Tree City USA.
Sign of the Times?