Cape Gazette
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Lewes mayor honored on Arbor Day

Tree planted in Ford's name in Smith Park
By Nick Roth | Apr 25, 2014
Photo by: Nick Roth Mayor Jim Ford and Mayor-elect Ted Becker stand in front of the tree dedicated in Ford's honor.

Lewes — Lewes Mayor Jim Ford was honored for 22 years of service to the city April 25, when a tree was planted in his name at the city's annual Arbor Day celebration.

The red dogwood resides along the northern edge of George H.P. Smith Park near the corner of Johnson and DuPont avenues. A plaque will soon accompany the tree.

Ford has served as the city's mayor since 2004. Prior to that, he spent 12 years as a city councilman.

Ford has been a champion of the city's tree efforts, helping maintain Lewes' Tree City USA status during his entire tenure as mayor. The city was recently honored for the 13th straight year.

Following the recitation of poems by Councilwoman Bonnie Osler and parks and recreation chair Carol Richardson, Mayor-elect Ted Becker spoke about the significance of the city choosing a red dogwood to commemorate Ford's contributions to Lewes.

"You'll find it used in carpentry tools, such as the handles of hammers,” he said. “I thought it appropriate they selected this tree.”

Ford is a contractor who specializes on historic homes. He was recently honored for his work to preserve the city's history as mayor and a contractor at the Lewes Historical Society's Preservation Awards.

Becker also found a connection between Ford and the leaders of our country. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson planted dogwoods at their estates, and Jefferson even wrote about the tree's vibrancy in the spring.

Ford will officially pass the torch to Becker at the Monday, May 19 city council meeting. With his upcoming spare time, Ford said he plans to get out fishing more often, which creates another connection to the dogwood tree planted in his honor.

“They say when the dogwood blooms the trout are around,” he said.

John Feliciani talks about Lewes' tree canopy during the Arbor Day celebration at George H.P. Smith Park April 25. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Councilwoman Bonnie Osler recites a poem. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
Mayor-elect Ted Becker, left, presents Mayor Jim Ford with a plaque that will be placed next to a tree that was planted in his honor. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
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