You might have seen plaques on Trees and benches in Cobourg’s parks – these generally commemorate someone and are there because a citizen donated them. But to do that, the donor has contacted the Parks Department and discussed it with them although to date there has not been any policy or presumably, consistency on costs or what is done. But now, the Town’s Parks department is working on establishing a policy and procedure for such donations with the first step being to discuss draft documents with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee at their meeting on December 7. The cost will be standardized at $3,000 for most benches (including plaque) and $450 for a tree plus $275 for a plaque. This is a donation so ongoing maintenance is done by the Town and they control details to ensure quality.
I would think that this work is a result of the 2018 Urban Forest Management Plan which recommended that:
The Town’s Donation / Memorial tree program will be enhanced and will contribute to community recognition of the value of trees.
Here is a summary of the proposed policies:
- White cast metal – Available only on the Waterfront $3000
- Black Cast Metal – Available in Upper Victoria Park and in most Parks $3000
- Concrete with reclaimed wood or Metal post and wood style $1700 (to be confirmed)
- Add plaque to existing bench $800 (to be confirmed)
It can take several months for a bench to be ordered and delivered or built.
Note that the Parks Department comments that the “Donation period is for 15 years. You may wish to renew when the term is up.” This is presumably because Benches have a useful life (the number of years is yet to be confirmed).
Example of a Donated Bench
In late 2018 Alma Draper raised funds for a bench on the waterfront to commemorate her friend Bert MacMillan. She then worked with the Parks Department to install it. At right is a photo of the “unveiling” event in May 2019.
As well as simply planting a tree, there are other categories such as large planting projects. Single trees can be planted in all parks except:
- Victoria Park – No individual dedications.
- Peace Park – Limited space available.
- Arboretum on Elgin St W – Not available
Staff will assist with choosing the species. Depending on the species a tree will have a trunk size 50 mm caliper (diameter) minimum. Depending on the species a tree this size will be 3 to 15 metres.
Example of a Donated Tree
For several years, Russ Donaldson of the Cobourg Probus Club organized a ceremonial tree planting to commemorate Probus members who had passed in the previous year. At right is a photo of the event in 2015 with then Mayor Gil Brocanier doing the honors with Russ watching.
Although it’s planned at some point to have a web page on the Town of Cobourg Web site and this will make forms available for download, in general you will need to contact the Parks Department to discuss what you have in mind.
Tax receipts are available for both Benches and Trees.
II would expect that after the Advisory Committee looks at the forms and suggests changes, that the final recommended forms/policies will come to Council for approval. Look on the Town’s web site for final approved forms or meanwhile contact:
Draft forms – not yet for use.