Bedford Celebrates Arbor Day in April  

April 12, 2024
Molly Haskell and Elizabeth Knox worked hard to plant a new tree at Shawsheen Cemetery last year to celebrate Arbor Day. Courtesy photo by Dan Churella

Submitted by Bedford Arbor Resources Committee

Everyone is invited to join the Bedford Arbor Resources Committee (BARC) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) at one or both of the two planned tree-planting events taking place in April. 

Each year, the Bedford Department of Public Works plants a tree on town property for Arbor Day. This year’s tree will be planted at the Shawsheen Cemetery at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 26. Residents can join BARC members to walk or drive past the historic section of the cemetery towards the back, near a small utility garage. Look for a DPW truck. 

At noon on Saturday, April 27, BARC members will conduct a tree planting demonstration at the James F. Sullivan Playground, accessible at the end of Eliot Road just off South Road. At the suggestion of Don Marshall, this tree will honor the memory of Rachel Murphy, who had a pivotal role in promoting Bedford’s trees. 

BARC co-organizer Jaqueline Edwards offers this dedication: “Every Arbor Day, we talk about the wonder of trees. Nowadays we focus more on their benefits to health and climate resilience. We talk about their economic benefits to neighboring businesses and the family pocketbook. We talk less often about their value for building community. You know, that stand of pines behind the track where generations of Bedford’s families gathered to take the family picture at their child’s high school graduation. Or, that place where you and your friends like to sit for a picnic, together, in the cool, moist shade of a broad-leafed tree. 

“[More than] 20 years ago, as residents saw many of our most beautiful, mature trees and stands of trees cut down, many grew increasingly concerned. They wanted the town to recognize and protect our shrinking arbor community. Some thought a tree committee would be the best route. Hours of discussion led Selectman Gordon Feltman to agree to support the idea, but when offered the opportunity, no one wanted to step up and chair the organizing committee until Rachel Murphy, a woman who valued both community and nature highly, stood up. With her leadership, we found our way to shape a committee that would increase in value and community respect over the decades. 

“In honor of her commitment and bravery, we dedicate this tree to Rachel Murphy.”

Molly Haskell, Chair of the Bedford Arbor Resource Committee said, “On behalf of BARC, we hope you’ll join us.”

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April 19, 2024 3:28 pm

Thanks BARC what a honor for our family. Rachel will be miss by all.

Veronica F. Rice
April 19, 2024 1:07 pm

From North Carolina, thank you for honoring my dear cousin.

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