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Tree planting kicks off Redbud Weekend

April 20, 2007

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A redbud tree was planted at the old English Cemetery on Thursday, officially kicking off the fourth annual Redbud Weekend.

Mayor Susan J. Webster proclaimed April 19 as Arbor Day in the Town of Bath, and its tree board members, Barbara Campbell and Diana Yost, assisted West Virginia foresters Herb Peddicord and Jennifer Brashears in the tree planting.

"We urge all citizens to plant trees," Webster said.

Redbud Weekend is sponsored by the Ecology Coalition of Morgan County (ECO), and board member Judy Webb said it is held in conjunction with Arbor Day celebrations.

Webb said ECO wants to educate and promote sustainable and responsible practices, such as planting trees, to protect the environment.

She said "this weekend is a hands-on experience with environmental practices."

Webb said 500 dogwood tree seedlings will be given out by ECO at the Nature Niche on North Washington Street today through Sunday. She said redbud seedlings were not yet available.

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She said Redbud Weekend information is available at the Nature Niche along with a map showing directions to all the events that include a hike around Panorama at the Peak to planting a future Christmas tree at Sleepy Creek Tree Farm.

Peddicord said the newly planted tree at the English Cemetery is tree No. 69,010 to be planted in Morgan County since 2006.

Peddicord established the Morgan County Tree Planting Board, and more than 44,000 trees were planted last year.

He was recently named the 2006 Employee of the Year for the W.Va. Division of Forestry.

Susan Taylor, a member of the Morgan County Tree Planting Board, said 250,000 trees planted between January 2006 and December 2008 is the goal. She said any Morgan County resident can register their trees on the Web site at www.morgancounytrees.com to record the plantings.

Webster said the English cemetery was the original Town of Bath cemetery and has graves from the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

Former Bath councilwoman Irene Hedrick said the cemetery was established about the same time as the town in 1776. Hedrick said, "I'm guessing between 50 and 100" people are buried there. "We don't have good records," she said.

"It's a great idea of plant a tree in this old English Cemetery," Webster said. "We are trying to get more people interested in the cemetery."

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