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Hagerstown marks Earth Week with tree planting at Oswald Park

Mayor Bruchey, students from Wesel, Germany, Hagerstown's sister city, take part in ceremony

April 20, 2011|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown Mayor Robert Bruchey II, third from left, helps plant a tree in Oswald Park during the city's Earth Week celebration. He is pictured with students from Hagerstown's sister city, Wesel, Germany, and others.
By Caleb Calhoun/Mobile Reporter

HAGERSTOWN — Mayor Robert Bruchey II helped plant a tree at the City of Hagerstown’s Earth Week ceremony Wednesday morning at Oswald Park.

Bruchey also read a proclamation declaring this week Earth Week and April 22 Earth Day in Hagerstown.

“For a small town, we are more conscientious than ...  big cities about the environment,” Bruchey said. “We understand that for a city you obviously need schools and hospitals, but you also need to have amenities like clean parks.”

Foreign exchange students from Hagerstown’s Sister City of Wesel, Germany, attended the ceremony. They came from Konrad Duden Gymnasium in Wesel with one of their teachers, Dieter Schmidtke, who teaches history and English there.

Before the tree was planted, Rebecca Bush, Outreach Coordinator of the Oak Hill Project of the Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, spoke about Clara Hamilton and her daughter, Julia, and their contributions to adding elements of the Garden City Movement to a land development plan in the Oak Hill region at the turn of the 20th century. The movement focused on surrounding neighborhoods with parks and having a good mix of residents, industry, and agriculture in a community.

“(The Hamiltons) were pioneers for the environment,” Bruchey said.

Two of the students from Wesel, Tim Steckelbrock, 15, and Llija Amamitch, 15, spoke at the event about the importance of the two cities and the country overall maintaining a relationship.

Erika Kline from North Hagerstown High School, spoke on the history of Earth Day, which was initiated by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, on April 22, 1970.

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