City of Burlington Press Release, Oct. 2, 2017 – The City of Burlington has received 469 applications from people interested in making furniture or art from 15 wood boards taken from two iconic weeping willow trees removed from Spencer Smith Park.
The 70-year-old trees near the gazebo at the waterfront park at Lakeshore and Brant streets were removed in June 2016 after City of Burlington arborists found significant rotting and areas of decay in the trees. The trees were originally transplanted by park founder Spencer Smith in the 1950s.
The city is making use of the Spencer Smith willow tree wood through:
- Wood boards finished by local companies Arborwood Tree Service Inc. and Exotic Woods
- Wood chunks and 100 tree cuttings distributed in June
- A tribute planned for Spencer Smith Park at a later date.
Due to the overwhelming interest in the wood boards, eligible applicants—those who demonstrate a skill in woodworking or who have hired a skilled woodworker—will be entered into a draw on Oct. 10. Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward will draw the winning names.
The community, including all willow wood applicants, is invited to watch the draw take place on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 5:45 p.m. in the Atrium of City Hall, 426 Brant St. Those who cannot attend can see the video on the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Winners do not have to be present when their names are drawn.
Spencer Smith Park holds a special place in the hearts and memories of residents and visitors to Burlington. Using the wood to preserve the past demonstrates a respect for our history, and a passion for keeping alive the memories of this special location on our waterfront.
The response has been overwhelming, with almost 500 applicants, showing just how important these trees are to our community. We look forward to seeing what people create with the trees!
I also want to sincerely thank city and regional staff and local businesses for all of their assistance in making this project a reality, including our arborist, roads and parks maintenance staff for storing the wood, communications and capital works staff, and Arborwood Tree Service Inc. and Exotic Woods for making the wood project ready.
Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward
City of Burlington
Office: 905-335-7600, ext. 7588