A legacy of the City of Milton's late, longtime Arborist will grow next week with the unveiling of second phase of the Mark Law Arboretum -- a public event coinciding with Milton's annual Arbor Day celebration.
The arboretum at Bell Memorial Park opened last February, shortly before Mark Law passed away from cancer. New trees -- including a white oak, courtesy of the Georgia Tree Council -- and signage have been added as part of the arboretum's upgrades.
These additions will be formally revealed following a ceremony at Bell Memorial Park starting at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 21. Mayor Pro Tem Peyton Jamison, Mark Law's widow Christine Law, Georgia Tree Council Executive Director Mary Lynne Beckley and city Arborist Sandra DeWitt will make brief remarks, after which citizens are encouraged to explore the arboretum.
Mark Law began working for Milton shortly after its incorporation in 2006, becoming one of the City's most beloved and respected employees, ambassadors and stewards of nature. Whether guiding citizens in the tree permit process, helping beautify roundabouts or co-designing the City's first gateway signs, Law always went the extra mile for Milton, its environment and its citizens.
The arboretum was a project that Law spearheaded while continuing to work for the City even through his health issues.
"Mark Law's dedication to Milton was second to none," said Mayor Joe Lockwood. "It's only fitting that his legacy not only lives on, but thrives with the expanded arboretum."
The arboretum's latest unveiling coincides with Arbor Day. National Arbor Day this year is slated for April 24. But since 1941, Georgia has observed Arbor Day each year on the third Friday in February. The reason, as explained by the Georgia Forestry Commission, is that trees should be planted in Georgia between November and mid-March -- not late April, when it may be too warm for them to thrive.
"In Milton, every day is Arbor Day in the sense we always try to celebrate our trees," said city Arborist Sandra DeWitt. "The Mark Law Arboretum gives residents a chance to do that, while hopefully learning something in the process."