Mansfield to celebrate Tree City anniversary with dedication

COVINGTON - Mansfield is celebrating its first year as a member of the Tree City program by conducting a special ceremony set for Saturday at 1 p.m.

Three newly planted oak trees will be dedicated to the memory of Stanley Henderson, a native of Mansfield who died in January, according to Community Forester Beryl Budd, with the Sustainable Community Forestry Program of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

"He was on the Newborn Tree Board since its inception and helped with a lot of tree planting projects in Newborn. Then about a year ago, he contacted me about starting a Tree City program in Mansfield. He got a Tree Board together and started to work on that," Budd said, adding that Mansfield ultimately completed requirements to be designated as a Tree City.

Budd said Henderson and his family had worked with trees for years, running a logging and sawmill business and more recently working in land clearing. He also worked for a number of years with the Newton County Public Works Department.

The city wanted to do something special in memory of Henderson, and Budd said they settled on planting three large oak trees on the grounds of the city's community center, adjacent to Mansfield City Hall.

Budd estimates the three trees - an Overcup oak, Shumard oak and a Nuttall oak - are about 10 to 12 feet tall and about 4 inches in diameter. They were planted with the assistance of the Newton County Public Works Department. Jack's Creek Tree Farm of Bostwick donated the trees.

Memorial markers will be provided by Henderson's family and the City of Mansfield Tree Board.

During the ceremony, the markers will be placed in front of the trees and the city will receive a recognition plaque and other materials relative to their Tree City designation, Budd said.

The public is invited to attend the event.