THEIR names are not prominent in the history books but those honoured at Lavington’s National Foresters’ Grove are some of the forestry industry’s elite.
And yesterday another 24 names and tree dedications joined the 170 in the Wagga Road reserve, as the grove celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Launched as a bicentennial project in 1988, the grove has taken on a life of its own, thanks to a committee of foresters and supporters, including the Forestry Corporation of NSW, Lavington Lions Club, Norske Skog and the Institute of Foresters.
“It’s gone from a bare paddock to what you see today,” chairman Peter Crowe said when surveying the five-hectare spruce of parklands with its barbecue areas and wetland.
“We’ve got a gathering of people who represent the organisations and individuals that make the industry what it is.”
Dedications were made yesterday for such identities such as Henry Kendall, who died in 1882. NSW’s first forestry inspector was also renowned as a poet.
More recent new members include local identities Roy Free, John Yarwood and Mathoura red gum guru Joe Murphy.
NSW’s long-time chief silviculturalist George Baur travelled from Sydney to accept his award.
He said he was “chuffed” to receive the honour “and perhaps just a little “embarrassed”.
“The trouble is I’ve been retired for 20 years, so the memories of forestry start to fade,” he said.
His work took him from Coffs Harbour to tropical rainforests but never Albury — before yesterday.
“I’d heard of this grove some years ago,” he said.
“It’s beautiful — more impressive than I’d expected.
“It’s a great idea and deserves a lot of congratulations and appreciation.”
Mr Crowe said the grove was not just a way for the forestry industry to recognise its most prominent players.
“We wanted to give something back to the community and draw attention to the role we play in managing our forests,” he said.
“And what better way is there than planting trees?”