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Jonesborough dedicates Arboretum

After more than 12 years of planning and planting, the Ardinna Woods Arboretum, a Level 2 certified arboretum, was dedicated in Jonesborough.
Dr. Frances Lamberts of Jonesborough, Dr. Tim McDowell, Aboretum Advisory Board, and Dr. Douglas Airhart, representing the Certified Arboretum Foundation, as well as Tree and Townscape Chairman Sue Henley and other town officials spoke during the Sept. 1 ceremony on the grounds of the arboretum located on Britt Drive at the west end of Jonesborough.
Lamberts, who is credited with being the driving force behind the project, was praised by Craig Ford.
“If you look in Webster’s dictionary under the word ‘persistence,’” Ford said, “you will see Frances’ picture there.”
Both Lamberts and Town Administrator Bob Browning also addressed the role former mayor Tobie Bledsoe played in the aboretum’s development.
“She was intent on making Jonesborough a Tree City USA,” Browning said, “and we have been now for seven years.”
Lamberts described the current location behind the wastewater treatment plant as a place covered with invasive plants and grasses. The only tree there in 1999, she said, was a lone black walnut.
“The first trees planted there were some rescued red cedars,” Lamberts said. “They screened the area from traffic noise, as well as deterring people from throwing their trash over the embankment.”
By 2005, the park had 40-plus trees, including more rescued trees as well as donations from community members. Dozens of volunteers have spent countless hours, Lamberts said, planting, weeding and mulching.
In 2007, the project received funding from the Department of Agriculture, and with a focus on native trees and shrubs, an additional 90 trees were planted.
The name for the arboretum, “Ardinna,” comes from Europe, Lamberts said. “It is the name of a superior being who was supposed to protect people while in the dense forests.
“This won’t be a dense forest, though,” she added. “Just a small woods.”