Weather conditions this spring have not been kind to trees and as a result, the 13th annual Arbor Day tree planting became more a maintenance project although three trees were successfully planted in two Summit Hill parks this year by the Shade Tree Commission headed by Dr. Louis Vermillion.
"The dry weather prevented nurseries from harvesting many trees due to concerns that the root balls would be damaged or fall apart due to the lack of moisture," Vermillion said during the service. "We managed to obtain three trees for the historians selected to be honored by the Summit Hill Historical Society, but the remaining trees will be planted this fall in Ludlow Park, Memorial Park and outside St. Joseph's Cemetery on East White Street."
Eighteen people gathered in the park last Saturday morning for the service and planting even though the weather was quite brisk. Dr. Vermillion introduced DCNR Service Forester Frank Snyder of the state Bureau of Forestry who announced that for the seventh year Summit Hill was once again named as a Tree City USA community.
Snyder told the group that Arbor Day is celebrated the last Friday of April in Pennsylvania. "It's a great time to remind residents to plant trees and we like to recognize towns that do so," said Snyder.
Snyder presented Vermillion and the commission with a Tree City USA package for being a seven year participant which included a hat, a seven year sticker for the signs, a flag and a plaque with a bronze leaf. To qualify for the honor, a town must have a shade tree ordinance, a commission, a budget of $2.00 per resident and a formal observance of Arbor Day.
Also participating in the service was Historical Society representative Maxine Vermillion who shared information about the three memoriams sponsored by the society to remember three local historians, Joseph "Buck" O'Donnell, Joseph McDermott and Joseph Arner. The society remembers three residents each year who have contributed in some way to the town or who have gone out into the world and did something memorable. All honorees must be deceased for at least one year to be eligible for this lifetime achievement award.
Vermillion thanked everyone who made donations of trees and to support the commission, all who helped plant and move trees, prepare the sties and mulching the young trees. He also thanked the borough workers who helped remove the old trees.
He also recognized fellow members of the Commission which includes himself, Ann Markey, Mary Helen Shelton, Mary Ann Szczecina and the group's unofficial arborist John Kupec.
Vermillion did recognize those who have donated trees that were planted both during the ceremony as well as those that will be planted later in the year when the trees are ready. Donating trees this year in Memorial Park on Hazard Street were Susan Strauss Bolton in memory of Joseph Bolton, Joanne McLaughlin and grandsons Cole McLaughlin and Justin Bilka in memory of husband, father and grandfather Anthony "Rocco" McLaughlin and the Summit Hill Historical Society in memory of historian Joseph Arner. Donating trees for Ludlow Park were Joseph Mogilski in memory of parents Michael and Louise Mogilski, Summit Hill Historical Society in memory of historians Joseph McDermott and Joseph "Buck" O'Donnell and two trees by the Summit Hill Lions in memory and in honor of fellow Lions club members. In addition the St. Joseph's Church Memorial Fund will be purchasing two trees to be planted at the cemetery on the eastern end of the borough along White Street.