DARIEN, Conn. -- The Tree Conservancy of Darien hosted a well-attended commemoration of new tree plantings recently at Tilley Pond Park in Darie.
The ceremony was in honor of Keith Barker, who owned The Gardener's Center and Florist for 35 years.
In attendance were numerous past and present board members of the Tree Conservancy -- Kris Barker, Keith’s son, First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson, many donors, friends and supporters and a few canine friends, including Barker’s dog, Anna.
When Barker passed away suddenly this summer, his family and friends designated the Tree Conservancy of Darien as a benefactor of memorial gifts and requested Tilley Pond as the planting site.
“It was gratifying and encouraging to see many different parts of the community come together to help beautify this park that is truly a town gem,” said Karen Hughan, vice president and chair of stewardship for the Tree Conservancy and owner of Good Gardens design firm.
“Designating an organization like TCD as a benefactor can leave a living legacy for generations to come. Estate planning with an interest in the environment is a thoughtful way to incorporate someone’s wishes," she added.
Barker was a longtime supporter of the town, sponsor of the Darien Beautification gardens and a respected garden mentor in the community.
His former home overlooks Tilley Pond, where he and his dog were frequent park visitors. Five trees have been planted there as a memorial in his honor.
The memorial request was the inspiration for the conservancy to select Tilley Pond as the site of its 2015 planting. The park is frequented daily by dog walkers, commuters, exercise groups and hosts town events.
It has endured a loss of mature trees due to Superstorm Sandy, old age and disease. The conservancy planted 30 trees and numerous shrubs and bulbs in order to replace lost trees and enhance the environment of the park.
Generous contributions by donors, as well as Good Gardens, The Growing Concern, Designs by Lee and The Gardener’s Center and Florist made the planting possible.
The Tree Conservancy of Darien is at 25 Old Kings Highway N., Suite 13 #168, Darien.
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