Six former Glen Ellyn village presidents joined the town's current leader Saturday for a tree dedication ceremony that comes around only once a decade.
At the village's Arbor Day celebration, Village President Mark Pfefferman dedicated a newly planted red oak to the service of those who came before him.
"The village of Glen Ellyn takes pride in its urban forest," Public Works Director Julius Hansen said. "Once a decade, the village dedicates a tree to the past village presidents who have served the village so well."
Former Glen Ellyn presidents Frank Wiedner, Constance Zimmerman, Michael Formento, John Demling, Joe Wark and Greg Mathews joined Pfefferman for the Saturday morning event at Panfish Park.
"The village has done a great job of remembering the past presidents." said Wark, who held the post from 1997 to 2001.
The ceremony also included dedication of a sculpture accepted as a gift from the College of DuPage and the reopening of the village arboretum at the park.
Called "Conduit 15," the sculpture is about 10 feet tall and encloses cylinders of concrete between two steel bridge supports. Village Manager Mark Franz said an anonymous donor provided funds for moving the sculpture from the COD campus to Panfish Park, which may be home to more art in the future.
"We'll see if we can add a sculpture or two over the years to give it that identity," Franz said.
Since 1992 -- when Panfish Park became the village arboretum as part of a beautification effort -- its identity has been tree-based, said Matthew Pekarek, superintendent of the Village Links Golf Course.
Built in 1968 for stormwater management, Panfish Park was not much more than a hay field with ponds until the 1970s, when about 50 willow trees joined the mix. Now, it includes 40 varieties of trees, 10 of which have been planted in recognition of past village presidents.
A plaque accompanies each tree planted for a past president, showing what type of tree it is and who it's planted for. Art Angrist, village president from 1989 to 1993, has a sugar maple planted in his honor, while Formento, who led from 1981 to 1988, has a bur oak.
"Not many villages have a village arboretum," Pfefferman said.
As part of the arboretum's reopening, the village will be placing maps at Panfish Park that show which type of tree is located where. Pekarek said the village also plans to continue planting trees and improving the park.
"Panfish Park has not looked this good in years," Pfefferman said.