Last week we were invited up to Franklin Park, Illinois for the dedication of the new John Mazur Arboretum by our friend and arborist for the village, Andy Smolen. Andy has been a partner with SGN for over fourteen years now, growing Franklin Park and creating green spaces all throughout the village. We’re always grateful for the expertise he brings! After retiring as an arborist for the City of Chicago for more than 30 years, he returned as the arborist for his hometown of Franklin Park to beautify his community. Since then, Andy and his team have planted over 1,700 SGN Trees throughout the village, many of which make up the new arboretum!
The John Mazur Arboretum came about to honor John, who has made a positive impact on the Franklin Park community in many ways, one being as an Eagle Scout mentoring dozens of kids through receiving their Eagle Scout rank. At the dedication ceremony Mayor Barrett Pedersen spoke to the legacy John has built over the years in service to their community. We then planted a tree sponsored by Christopher B. Burke Engineering as part of their company’s sustainability program. It was wonderful to be able to participate in the arboretum dedication and to recognize the hard work put in by Andy to make this happen.
The process to become an official arboretum requires different criteria to be met such as having a strategic plan in place to cover maintenance and care, as well as an organizational group or governing board dedicated to overseeing arboretum operations. Additionally, arboretums must contain over 25 species of trees or woody plants that are accurately labeled, and must be open to the public with events and programs every year. There are only around 550 arboretums in the world, so it was special to be a part of one of the newest additions to that list. You can learn more about what goes into creating a new arboretum and see a list of the registered arboretums on the Arbnet website, as well as check out another arboretum project SGN has recently been a part of at North Central College!
We can’t wait to see how this arboretum grows over the years and are excited for the residents of Franklin Park to add another green space to their community!