A winter storm took out a couple of trees at Rock Creek Greenway in Gainesville.
But the Boy Scouts of America, in a move to commemorate its 100th anniversary, came up with a replacement — an October glory maple tree — just in time for spring. As its name suggests, the tree presents colorful fall foliage.
“This is a perfect gift,” said Julie Butler, Gainesville Parks and Recreation’s marketing/communications coordinator.
The city held a ceremony Monday afternoon in front of the newly planted tree, which sits at Ivey Terrace and Adair Street. A marble marker in front of the tree depicts the Boy Scouts emblem and declares “100 years of community service.”
“We want to tell you how much we appreciate the Boy Scouts and their rich history in Gainesville,” said Gainesville Mayor Ruth Bruner.
Bruner’s husband, Robert Bruner, is the longtime Scoutmaster of Troop 16, which meets at Gainesville First United Methodist Church on Thompson Bridge Road.
Boy Scouts of America’s Northeast Georgia Council, which is based in Jefferson and comprises 26 counties, including Hall, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Tree planting projects will take place throughout the district, the mayor said.
“Gainesville was selected as a site because of its rich Scouting heritage,” she added. “... Each year, Gainesville is one of the top areas of the council in membership growth, Eagle Scouts and overall program quality.”
Joe Chipman, past president of the Northeast Georgia Council, thanked the city “for really embracing this project.”
He said after the ceremony that he believes Scouting has succeeded so well in the Gainesville area because it has the right “value system” in place.
“Scouts can really prosper,” Chipman said.
Officials showered water around the base of the tree to wrap up the ceremony.
Dressed in his Boy Scout uniform, Sam Terray, 11, of Gainesville, was one of those with a watering can nurturing the tree.
Sam said he has belonged to Troop 16 for five months.
“It’s fun,” he said of his experience so far, adding that he particularly enjoys camping and rank advancement.