A Patriot Elm tree will serve as a lasting tribute to front-line workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of Crawfordsville Main Street joined representatives from the health, fire and street departments and the city building Friday to plant the tree in the Montgomery County Courthouse parking lot.
“Once this tree grows bigger and stronger, being able to go by and remember [the pandemic] with something beautiful will be a nice reminder” of the community’s support, Amber Reed, Montgomery County Health Department administrator, said.
The tree, procured from Davidson Greenhouse & Nursery, was planted next to another Patriot Elm that Main Street’s tree committee planted last year for Arbor Day.
“A year ago we dedicated this first Patriot Elm to those who built our communities over the years and who fought to keep them safe,” Main Street program manager Sue Lucas said in a brief
“Today in the midst of a global crisis, we dedicate this second Patriot Elm to the ones who are before us,” she added. “These are the people who fight day and night to hold the hills of safety around Montgomery County.”
Lucas thanked grocery and hardware store employees, postal workers and restaurant staff, factory workers, garbage collectors, medical and mental health providers and public safety personnel. The ceremony came during National EMS Appreciation Week.
Mayor Todd Barton said the community has shown the pandemic response is a team effort” where “everybody comes together and everybody makes things happen.”
Reed and Crawfordsville Fire Chief Scott Busenbark grabbed shovels to scoop dirt around the tree, which will grow to about 60 ft. fall.
“I think it’s a fantastic gesture,” Busenbark said of the planting.