After a one-year hiatus, the annual city Arbor Day celebration again will be held at Brandon Park Thursday afternoon.
Arbor Day - arbor is Latin for tree - is set aside as a day when trees are planted and the importance of conservation is discussed.
The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the Dr. Kenneth Cooper Bandshell, according to Sally Wiegand of 309 Louisa St., the master of ceremonies and chairwoman of the city Brandon Park and Shade Tree commissions, a role she accepted when she was elected by the commissions' members earlier this year.
Wiegand said she plans to focus her attention and give special recognition to the late Dr. Kenneth Cooper and former County Commissioner Paul Bloom, both of whom she described as servants of the city who dedicated their time and talents to making the park blossom and preserved it for future generations to enjoy.
Cooper and Bloom died last year before the Arbor Day event and because of their loss, the activities were canceled, leaving many in the community who enjoy celebrating the day without a ceremony, Wiegand said.
"He was my dear friend," Wiegand said of Cooper, who was known as the father of Brandon Park. "When they elected me to be chair I was kind of worried because those were big shoes to fill."
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Arbor Day
WHEN: 1 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Dr. Kenneth Cooper Bandshell, Brandon Park
Cooper, besides delivering babies as a profession was a philanthropist in the city and a green thumb who organized and raised money to plant trees at the park.
Cooper also preserved and protected the park and as his eyesight failed, he could be seen weeding its flower beds, Wiegand said.
"I am a voice carrying on their legacy," she said of Cooper and Bloom. "I want to continue as chair of the commission because it's important to keep them in our memories for what they accomplished."
Wiegand acknowledged she grew up with a soft spot for such individuals. Her father, Clifford Markle, was city superintendent of public parks and property.
"I would go with him to the parks he tended to," she said. Markle also served on City Council and died at age 59.
Wiegand also plans to honor the memory of the late Doug Banks of the city Streets and Parks Department. He served the city for 40 years, she said.
Banks' family has requested any donations in his memory be sent to the Brandon Park and Shade Tree commissions, she added.
The ceremony will include the dedication of 13 trees and a bench.
Rotary Club of Williamsport dedicated the bench to the park in memory of deceased members of the commissions.
"When you're on one commission you're on both," Wiegand said.
The members meet monthly and Wiegand said she encourages input from the citizens.