The Mark Law Arboretum at Bell Memorial Park is named after Milton's first and long-time Arborist, who passed away in February 2019. Mark Law began working for Milton shortly after its incorporation in 2006, and became 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 for Milton's government, its environment, and its people. His impact remains evident everywhere, from when you enter city limits to when you walk amid Milton's lush green tree canopy.
A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in ornamental horticulture, Law didn’t just issue tree permits to residents. He shared his infectious love of trees with them. This passion was genuine and never-ending. As his wife recalled, even during his final days of in-patient hospice care, Law cornered a hospice nurse to tell her how to properly prune her trees.
One of Mark’s early dreams was to achieve a Tree City USA designation for Milton. Not only did he help the City obtain its first Tree City USA designation in 2009, he also ensured that the city retained that designation year-after-year-after-year.
That was just one of many projects that he envisioned for Milton. One such dream -- to open an arboretum -- came true on February 15, 2019, which was Georgia Arbor Day, as Law watched the opening of Phase 1 of the “Mark Law Arboretum at Bell Memorial Park” via FaceTime.
On February 21, 2020, Milton opened Phase 2 of the “Mark Law Arboretum at Bell Memorial Park”adding more trees, signage and more. Click HERE for photos.
In anticipation of one day opening an arboretum, Law requested a seedling from the American Elm damaged during the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing -- known as the Survivor Tree. The Survivor Tree is a 90-year old American Elm, located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, that survived one of the worst terrorist attacks ever on American soil. Evidence from the bombing had to be extracted from the tree, with local officials uncertain if it would survive. The American Elm may have been cut down following the bombing, if not for the efforts of victims' families and the community at-large.
Law personally nurtured and cared for this seedling at his home until it was large enough for planting. His children planted the "Survivor Tree" at the arboretum named after their father on February 15, 2019.
Yellowwood – Donated and planted by Cub Scout Pack 1429 in memory of Mark Law
Smoketree – Donated and planted by Cub Scout Pack 1429 in memory of Mark Law
Star Magnolia – Donated by the Milton Garden Club in memory of Mark Law
"Legacy" Sugar Maple
"October Glory" Red Maple
"Forest Pansy" Easter Redbud