Category: Editor Blog
Published on Wednesday, April 18 2012 11:26
Written by NRVNews
Lois Weiss (Lee) Gilmore was passionate about two things: the New River Valley and trees. After her death in April 2010, her daughters, Joanna Angle and Brenda Spangler, launched "Lee's Trees" as a living memorial.
For a third year the sisters will distribute pink dogwood seedlings free to anyone willing to plant and nurture them; five hundred baby trees will be available. The goal is to place ten thousand trees in the New River Valley by 2024, the 100th anniversary of "Lee's" birth.
Pink dogwoods were selected for multiple reasons: the color references Mrs. Gilmore's fondness for wearing pink, her three decade fight against cancer and the hope for a cure. The sisters remember their mother telling them the legend of the dogwood and how its flower became a symbol of eternal life.
Native to Virginia, dogwoods are easy to grow and appropriate for even the smallest spaces. They provide year-round beauty, with weeks of spring blooms, colorful fall foliage and checkered bark which makes an interesting contrast in snow. Their red seeds are important food for wildlife and are favored by songbirds such as robins, cardinals, and waxwings as well as chipmunks, gray fox, and squirrels. Dogwoods help improve the soil as their leaves decompose more quickly than most other species.
Mrs. Gilmore’s daughters encourage area residents to plant Lee’s Trees this Mother’s Day weekend to honor their own mothers or those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Baby trees will be available at the Wades Supermarket parking lot on Roanoke Street in Christiansburg beginning at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 12thth