May Day is almost here. The trees are leafed out, pollen is blowing in the wind and flowers are unfurling everywhere. I just planted a 4-in-1 apple tree in my backyard and it reminded me of something my mother mentioned. She has noticed the trees in the local parks that have plaques underneath them. Many of these are memorials to loved ones. With the city's stately elms now in decline, replanting with more appropriate trees is a big project. You can join in on this effort and commemorate a special event or remember a loved one through Albuquerque's Memorial Tree Program.

I went for a stroll around Hyder Park and cataloged the plaques there. A couple of trees looked like they once had plaques that are now missing. Here are the ones that still stand:

In honor of Bob Giles who loved this park. Keep Hope Alive God Bless 1950-2006

In Honor and Fond Remembrance of Sadie / Brackenhollow's Prairie Wind

MAX Beloved Olde English Sheepdog 1/19/92 - 3/28/03 Our Best Friend RG BSR

In Loving Memory of Gail Massie July 31, 2006 Wall Street Wizards

In Memory of Bear and Corvette 2005

Wind in our hair, grass under foot, love Hyder Park Christy & Lincoln 2005

Muffin Is Planting This Tree For All Her Two And Four Legged Friends At Hyder Park

"Sensation Box Elder" Planted 2006 for our Buddy Helen Fuschino

In Memory of Jeanette Waldman Parks

Beloved Son, Brother and good Friend to many. David W. Endean May 4, 1943 - November 14, 1995

In Loving Memory of Harold R. "Bob" Bengel 1934-2007

The Program:

- Sponsoring a tree costs $200.

- The Park Management Division will work with you to choose an appropriate tree and park.

- The plaque (with up to 65 characters) can be upgraded to bronze (an extra $120) or aluminum (an extra $138).

- Trees are planted between late fall and early May. With advance notice, you can arrange your own ceremony, celebration or memorial to mark the planting of the tree.

- It takes up to two months to get the plaque made, so plan ahead if you want to commemorate a certain day or week.

- If anything happens to the plaque, a replacement can be made at your request and cost.

- The Memorial Tree Application is available here.

Views: 65

Comment by cathyray on April 29, 2010 at 11:22am
great post!
Comment by cc on April 29, 2010 at 1:07pm
Never knew this, so Thanks!
Comment by shotsie on April 29, 2010 at 4:43pm
I guess this is one of my pet peeves, sorry to say - at my local park - Academy Hills Park is starting to get overwhelmed with these plaques. The problem is that this park is a great open space that was designed for kids to play football and soccer, etc..., yet these trees and their plaques are encroaching on the open space. The plaques stick out just enough to twist runners ankles and present mowing issues. The trees get in the way of the sports teams, and the teams bring parents and friends to watch - this acts as a deterrent to gang wannabes hanging out. I sympathize with the family's loss, but don't want the parks to be cluttered with markers and new trees that were never part of the original park plan. The city parks shouldn't become a substitute for a cemetery, in other words (I hate to say this, but the park tree/marker is far cheaper than doing the same at a cemetery, and that might be a reason for the program's popularity.) It's really hard to turn down a request from someone who has lost someone, but the functionality of the park should be preserved above all else.

Maybe the Parks Dept can offer up a large memorial plaque where the names can be added when needed - Children's Memorial Park in Tucson does that.

Thanks, Edith, for posting this info - I never knew the process before.
Comment by Edith Grove on April 29, 2010 at 4:50pm
That's interesting, shotsie. At Hyder, it looks that the trees are strategically placed to eventually replace the elms when they die or have to be removed. I wonder if there are other parks where the trees are moving into recreational space. Ultimately, I think the Parks Management Division gets to say whether a tree can be placed in a certain area. That's an issue you could probably bring up with them.


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