Rouse to be remembered with cherry tree memorial

April 14, 1997|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Twenty-one flowering cherry trees decorating a walk in Centennial Park in Ellicott City will be dedicated Saturday in memory of visionary developer and Columbia founder James W. Rouse.

"James Rouse was an incredible man, and we wanted to honor him the best way we knew how -- with a living gift," said Barry L. Wood, president of Botanical Decorators, a residential landscape design and installation company based in Columbia's Hickory Ridge village.

Wood said the company donated the 12-foot-tall trees -- planted last month and worth about $6,000 -- to mark its 21st anniversary and to honor the Rouse Co. founder, who died April 9, 1996, at age 81.

"This is the best way we could think of to thank Rouse for all he has done, and the community for supporting us for 21 years," he said.

The Living Colonnade memorial was planned for Centennial Park because the area "needs lots of color," Wood said. "Soon, this park will have a beautiful profusion of thick, pink blossoms," he said.

The dedication ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the park's Pavilion E.

Among those scheduled to attend are Rouse's widow, Patricia; other members of the Rouse family; County Executive Charles I. Ecker; and Jeffrey Bourne of the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks.

Pub Date: 4/14/97

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