Chapin dedicates sequoias on Arbor Day

Members of the Chapin Arbor Day Foundation gathered for its first Arbor Day celebration Friday morning at the new Chapin Business and Technology Park.

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Chapin Arbor Day Foundation President Gerald Meetze presents a certificate and check for $50 to Alexis DeJesus for her winning logo design. (Photo provided)

The ceremony included the unveiling of the new organization’s logo, designed by a local student, and the dedication of sequoias trees which were planted as part of a two-year community project designed to not only enhance the environment with the planting of nearly three dozen trees throughout the town, but also build community unity and cooperation.

Alexis DeJesus, a senior at Chapin High School, designed the winning logo design which was highlighted at the new organization’s ceremony. Her rendering featured open hands holding a sapling with both the leaves and soil shaped like a heart. The Foundation presented her with a check for $50 for her design, which the board said best captured their aspirations for the organization. The Foundation had promoted a contest among the local schools to seek a logo that would be integral to their branding efforts.

The ceremony also included a presentation on the history of Arbor Day, which is observed in South Carolina on the first Friday in December, by Chapin Garden Club President Karen McConnell and a tree dedication ceremony for four new sequoia trees planted near the traffic circle of the new park. Chapin High senior Adam Abdulrahman recounted the students’ involvement in the planting and caring of sequoia trees throughout Chapin during the past two years and how this project had touched so many people of all ages in the community.

Two trees were donated by local business owners Pat and Terry Wilson, and two were donated by the Town of Chapin in honor of retiring Lexington County Councilman Johnny Jeffcoat and his wife Pat. Jeffcoat was a staunch advocate for the building of the new technology park in Chapin, which is expected to bring new businesses and jobs to the community.

The foundation is currently raising funds to refresh the green space located adjacent to Beaufort Street and the railroad tracks, which the group hopes to rename Chapin Square. Plans include updating the landscaping, adding new signage and lighting as well as relocating the Chapin Sunrise Rotary Clock. Individuals and businesses interested in assisting with that project can make donations payable to the Chapin Arbor Day Foundation, care of PO Box 183, Chapin, SC 29036.

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