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An Arbor Foundation Program – Tree City USA

Eloise Gass is an Optimist member and Tree City USA advocate.

One of Eloise Gass’ greatest desires is to contribute to the beautification of the community of Trenton by planting trees and flowers. Mrs. Atha Sells, Eloise’s dear friend, had spearheaded a relationship with the City of Trenton to make an investment in the community by planting trees and committing to environmental stewardship.

In the early years, Atha Sells, Eloise Gass and a few others shared experiences in the flower beds over Trenton. They also planned tree plantings and seedling giveaways. These were the beginnings of 37 years of participation in an Arbor Foundation Program – Tree City USA.

When Atha was no longer able to carry on her commitment to participation in Tree City, Eloise set out to walk in Athea’s steps and continue to lead the Tree City USA. You would need to know Eloise to know that when she told Mrs. Sells that she would do her best to continue the Tree City Program, she would do so. Eloise has faithfully purchased and planted trees in memory of or in honor of citizens in Trenton. Flower beds around the Courthouse Square, beds in Jenkins Park and the areas at U.S. 11 and Highway 136 intersection all have been tended by Eloise and those contributing along the way.

There are so many benefits for a community to be surrounded with trees. Tree City USA sets standards that a community must uphold to maintain recognition. One requires a group of citizens that encourages and supports planting of city-or-town owned trees. Trenton and Dade County government officials attend tree plantings and take part in the planting and dedication. When appropriate they come to a tree planting such as the Arbor Day celebration with a proclamation in one hand and a shovel in the other.

Eloise shared with Optimist members her dedication to Tree City USA and offered a warm welcome for others to join in. This is just the first step in broadening the spectrum for citizenship and encouraging others to join with the effort to plant trees in Trenton. Contact Eloise Gass or Jane Dixon and become part of environmental stewardship.

Jane Dixon is president of the Trenton Dade Optimist Club.

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