It was a chilly April morning but that did not deter over 35 donors and families from gathering for a brief ceremony held by the Summit Hill Shade Tree Commission in Ludlow Park to dedicate 10 trees in honor and memory of loved ones including three trees donated in recognition of lifetime service of three borough policemen. Also, Tree City USA presented Dr. Louis Vermillion, chairperson of the commission with a flag and plaque recognizing the town's sixth straight year as a dedicated steward to planting and maintaining trees in the community.
"In order to be recognized as a Tree City USA, we must meet four standards including having a Shade Tree Commission, an ordinance regulating the maintenance of trees, a forestry program that has a per capita budget and an annual Arbor Day observance and planting," said Vermillion.
PA Department of Conservation of Natural Resources representative Wesley Keller was on hand to award the plaque and flag to Vermillion which permits the borough to acknowledge itself as a Tree City USA for a sixth year.
Mayor Paul McArdle also made some brief remarks thanking the Shade Tree Commission for all of the work they do in the community throughout the year. "I remember when I was a boy how the streets used to be tree lined and as I grew older the trees gradually disappeared, but since Lou and the commission started their work the trees that made this town so beautiful have begun to make the town look great again," he said.
McArdle also thanked the Historical Society and Commission for recognizing three of the town's police officers for their lifetime of service to the borough and then presented a check to the Commission to help with continuing their work.
Vermillion told the audience the Commission was started over ten years ago as an outgrowth of the Summit Hill Historical Society with the support of the Summit Hill Borough Council and the residents. "We are grateful for the support we receive each year from the borough, the society and the people of the community. In the past eleven years, we have planted about 400 trees throughout the streets and parks of Summit Hill as well as removed those that were damaged and dead. We have also worked to raise the awareness of the benefits and advantages of trees."
He introduced members of the commission which includes John Kupec who has worked as the arborist, Mary Helen Shelton, Mary Ann Szczecina and Ann Markey.
Vermillion also thanked all of the volunteers who come out each year to plant. "I don't want to forget anyone, but I am appreciative of all the volunteers who do not hesitate to lend a hand to plant our trees each year. They stop and ask me when we are going to plant each year and I'm grateful for their assistance."
Also, Vermillion thanked David Hiles and his crew who help to prepare the ground for planting, digging holes as needed and removing stumps and material.
This year ten trees were donated to the community by residents. A tree was sponsored by the Summit Hill Lions in honor and memory of Lions serving the community, one sponsored by the Lions in memory of Lion Joe Pampanin, one sponsored by Ron and Martha Tirpak in memory of Michael and Anna Tirpak and one sponsored by the James Miller Family in memory of Loved Ones. Also, the Shade Tree Commission planted three trees in honor of the community, and the Summit Hill Historical Society sponsored three trees in recognition of the lifetime service to the community of police officers James Whitehead, John Markey and Francis McArdle.