Oxford Township’s parks and recreation department is offering folks an opportunity to memorialize their loved ones and help beautify the community’s second largest park.
Through its Memorial Maples program, people can purchase maple trees for $300 each and have them planted in Seymour Lake Township Park in honor of deceased family members and friends. An engraved memorial stone is placed at the base of each three.
There are currently 14 memorial maples along the road that winds its way through the park. But, Parks and Rec. Director Ron Davis wants to plant more – a lot more.
“I’d like to see the entire park road lined with them (on both sides), from (the entrance) all the way to Coats Rd.,” he said. “I have no idea how many trees that will take.”
Memorial trees are planted and cared for by the parks and recreation department’s maintenance staff.
“We water them almost every night through the summer months” and spread mulch around them, Davis said.
It costs the department $329 to purchase each tree, plus another $60 to have each stone engraved by Mr. Oz Stonecarving in Brandon Township.
Families and individuals pay $300 while the department picks up the rest of the tab.
“If we have to kick in $90 to buy a $300 tree and it beautifies the park, so be it . . . I think (it) is only fair because it’s going into our park,” Davis said.
Considering the cost of other options to memorialize loved ones, Davis sees the Memorial Maples program as a real bargain.
“Instead of buying an $800 park bench, you can buy a $300 tree,” he said.
Davis said the maples are “really pretty in the fall.”
“(The leaves) are like a burnt red,” he said. “Twenty years from now (when the trees are mature), it should be really cool.”
In the event a memorial tree dies within the first two years of its planting, the parks and recreation department will cover the entire cost of replacing it. After that, a dead maple will only be replaced if a request is made by the person who made the original donation and he or she is willing to pay half the cost.
If the maintenance staff ever has to remove a healthy tree, it will be replanted in another location free of charge.
For more information about the Memorial Maples program, visit www.oxparkrec.org or call (248) 628-1720.