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Donation from Boston brings new trees to park

August 1, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

The Green Oasis added more color last week following a donation of three hybrid maple trees from former Boardman resident Dr. James Chengelis, now living in Boston.

The three hybrids, Acer saccharum "Green Mountain", Acer rubrum "Brandywine," and Acer rubrum "October Glory," were planted and according to Boardman Park Executive Director Dan Slagle, the park does not have either of these varieties anywhere on the property.

"It's the characteristics of these trees that make them outstanding," Slagle said. "Color is one of those characteristics."

He said hybrids are specifically bred for certain qualities, such as color. Two of the three are from the red maple family while the other is from the sugar maple. Each will add spectacular color in the fall, but Slagle said that may take a year to fully develop.

"We are not sure right now just how spectacular they will be this fall," he said.

A lot of plants at the park have had to deal with the drought and stress from the extreme heat.

As for Chengelis, Slagle said he is a strong environmentalist and he keeps up on what is happening in Boardman from his Boston home. When he read of a previous donation, he called Slagle and said he too wanted to donate.

"It just took off from there," Slagle said.

For Chengelis, Boardman Park brings back a lot of memories.

"When I was in the second grade, and we had a lesson about the brain and neurons; my sister took me to Boardman Park and taught me that the neurons connect ideas and thoughts in our brain and that the trees are like neurons," he said. "They connect the earth to the universe. I still remember that lesson. As a family, my parents took us to Boardman Park for picnics and to appreciate the beauty of nature."

He said he feels strongly about giving back and to Boardman, which he stills refers to as his home.

The trees have been planted on the south side of the flag pole across from St. James Church in the park. Each tree will have a plaque stating it was planted in memory of Chengelis' parents, Theodore P. Chengelis and Evelyn H. Chengelis, and his sister Patricia F. Chengelis.

"We deeply appreciate Dr. Chengelis' support of our mission: to preserve and enhance landscape environment of the park," said Slagle.



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