January/February 2013 Newsletter:

Outgoing Executive Committee Chair

After serving as chair of our northeast Ohio Sierra Group’s Executive Committee for several years, I decided last May to step down this year. As you may have noticed on your ballots, I still plan to remain on the Executive Committee, provided I receive enough votes, but will take on a different position. The Executive Committee, unbeknownst to me, decided to give me a departure gift, which is my reason for writing.

Fairwinds windmill and solar panel

Pat and her mother decorate the tree with popcorn for the birds.

At our end-of-the-year party – at the Winton Place this year thanks to our gracious hostess, Dr. Gabriela Kaplan – I was presented with a beautifully framed photo of a White / Canadian Spruce which had been planted in my honor at Edgewater, Cleveland Lakefront State Park. There’s a plaque under the tree, which contains our Sierra Club logo and states the following:

The clearest way into the universe
is through a forest wilderness. . .
~John Muir

Pat McKenna
In appreciation, NEOSC

I have never been so touched or honored in my life and had a very emotional moment when I visited my tree for the first time. Please know, each and every one of you, that you’ve changed my life with this gift. I’ve already visited my tree with my mother to decorate it with a garland of popcorn & cranberries and to water it, and will visit again in a few days with my two sons & granddaughter to celebrate its planting in my honor. The tree will be a surprise to them. I now have this very special and most meaningful place to visit. You’ll find me there often and forever.

Andi and Steve with the tree and little helper Reed.

Andi and Steve with the tree and little helper Reed.

You’ve also changed my death in that I had planned to be buried at Foxfield Preserve, Ohio’s only “green” cemetery, but now I plan to be cremated and feed my tree with my ashes! I want my kids, grandkids, great-grandchildren, etc., etc., etc., to picnic under my tree and enjoy the beautiful view of Lake Erie. I’m told when it’s full-grown it will be the tallest tree at Edgewater!

So, thank you one and all for the honor you’ve bestowed on me. I’m ever so grateful.

Pat McKenna

Enjoy the pictures showing the planting & decorating!
Thank you Andi, Reed, Steve, and Dave
for doing the hard work!