By Sarah Wibell
Rutledge Mayor Bruce Altznauer signed a proclamation last Friday setting March 1 as Arbor Day for the city. In commemoration of the event, the Rutledge Garden Club in conjunction with the Rutledge Tree Board purchased and planted two Glowing Embers Japanese Maples from Gralan Farms in front of City Hall.
Ann Pitner, Rutledge Garden Club president, stated, “The Rutledge Garden Club is a group of women many of you are probably familiar with seeing around town…We wear our green aprons proudly…In the last several years, we’ve lost several of our “dirt” members; they were Bambi Bruce, Leigh Fitzgerald, and Frankie Beers (who was also an original member of the Tree Board and a member of the Four Seasons Garden Club). Each of them was very special in their own right. We’ve planted some trees to remember some really special women who loved Rutledge and spruce up our new City Hall.
“It is our hope that when you drive by and watch these trees grow, you will remember somebody special in your life. There are a lot of special people in Rutledge, so the trees are representative of all of those people who have come before us.”
Pitner shared a poem titled “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer (1913):
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Attendees of the event – including members of the city council, Rutledge Tree Board, Rutledge Garden Club’s “Dirt Girls,” and local citizens – enjoyed refreshments and received a dogwood, bald cypress, or crepe myrtle sapling to take home and plant. The Four Seasons Garden Club was also represented by three members.