Memorial Tree program launched in new Petrolia park
Mayor John McCharles and Judith Morris, President and CEO of Lambton College, at Fairbank Park, where the college planted ten birch trees in April in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Melissa Schilz/The Topic
The Town of Petrolia and Lambton College celebrated the recent planting of ten birch trees in a brand new green space on Englehart Drive, which has been officially named ‘Fairbank Park’. The new park will be the site of a memorial tree park that is expected to expand and enhance greenery in the new subdivision.
The initial tree planting took place this past April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the college – students, faculty and staff of the college celebrated the milestone through establishing their Legacy Project, which saw 50 birch trees planted in Sarnia and 10 birch trees planted in 10 local municipalities, including Petrolia.
There was a total of 150 trees planted across the county to celebrate not just the college’s anniversary, but Canada’s 150th birthday. In addition to the trees, each area of planting had a sculpture installed created by local landscape designer Adam Allison.
Each cube sculpture features a different word that unifies the communities and illustrates the college’s connection to that municipality – Petrolia’s is ‘collaboration’.
Dave Menzies, Director of Facilities and Community Services, said the newly established green space will be a passive park for residents and members of the community to enjoy.
“We named it in honour of the Fairbank Family,” he said, adding its creation was approved by council earlier in the year.
While 10 trees stand in the newly formed park now, Menzies said the figure will grow as more trees are planted in memorium.
“Anyone will be able to order a tree online,” he said. “We will gather once a year for a service and to plant.”
Menzies said the annual services are expected to happen in the fall. Those wishing to purchase a memorial tree can choose to have a Freeman Maple, Tulip Tree, Hackberry or Eastern Redbud planted with a plaque.
He said they are also currently in the process of designing two signs for the park which will be installed at a later date.