Something new for Arbor Day is expected to attract many more tourists to historic Brandon Park.
For the past eight months, Brandon Park and Shade Tree commission members have been developing a brochure and tour guide booklet describing the park history and a map showing places to visit that are easily accessible and connected by the walking paths.
As the local Arbor Day approached and was set for 2 p.m. April 26 at the Dr. Kenneth Cooper Bandshell, named after the late city resident who dedicated much of his life to the care and maintenance of the park, the commission was preparing for what it hoped would be one of the best event's to date.
"We worked for months preparing the tour guide booklet," said Sally Wiegand, chairwoman of the committee. "I think Dr. Cooper would be proud."
Visitors who stay after the Arbor Day service and take the guided tour will be given a booklet, she said.
The park's history dates to A. Boyd Cummings, who deeded 42 acres of land to the city in February 1889 in honor of his late sister Jane Cummings Brandon.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: City Arbor Day
WHEN: 2 p.m. April 26
WHERE: Brandon Park
In 1892, historian John F. Meginness wrote, "This park will forever remain as a memorial of its generous donor, who cherished such an affectionate regard for his sister's memory and the place of his birth."
The park is 124 years old and is maintained by the city and volunteers to enjoy the legacy of a brother's love.
A tour last year overseen by city resident Jeff Reeder, who also serves on the committee, was successful, Wiegand said.
The tour guide booklet was paid for by an account established for the commission, Wiegand said, but several volunteers spent a lot of their time to collaborate the information and get it to print.
Among those recognized by Wiegand was Richard James, a commission member, who helped get the booklet printed.
Wbile Arbor Day activities are in the planning stage, the ceremony always inspires as families and individuals visit trees that are planted in loved one's memories. Work is done ahead by members of the DuBoistown Garden Club who prepare the flower gardens and the Rotary Club maintains the flower beds, while Lycoming College students help park volunteers with mulching.
"Streets and Parks Department General Manager William C. Wright always has the crews get the park prepared for visitation," Wiegand said. "We think this will be one of the best Arbor Days and seasons for the historic park," she said.