While every school and community tree planting is special, the first of the 2015 fall season at Alice Deal Middle School was particularly meaningful because it was planted in memory of Sally Kux — a dear friend and ally to Casey Trees — and sponsored by her friends and family.
The memorial planting was spearheaded by Sally’s husband of 19 years, David Weiner, who long admired her commitment to building community, sustainability and youth and thought a memorial tree planting in her honor would be the perfect way to honor her life and love of D.C.
Sally first became involved with Casey Trees in 2005 when her dear friend and fellow parent at Murch Elementary School in Northwest D.C. applied to our School Tree Planting program to re-tree the much beloved school’s campus. In October of 2005, Sally and Linda Komes — with Casey Trees — helped to add 20 trees to the grounds and in September and October of 2006, added another 17 and 15 trees respectively for a total of 52.
Knowing that newly planted trees would only survive if regularly watered, Sally and Linda organized a weekly watering schedule — often demanding a hose to be dragged across the playground — to make sure the trees thrived.
In addition to Sally’s efforts at Murch Elementary School, she also coordinated the planting of 20 trees at a triangle park along Reno Road and volunteered at several other tree planting events.
When Sally’s eldest daughter moved onto Alice Deal Middle School, she focused her energy to bringing new trees to that school which had recently undergone an extensive renovation. Unfortunately, construction materials were still being removed from the site so plans were tabled and before Sally could come back to the project, her cancer returned.
Following Sally’s passing, David approached Casey Trees about continuing Sally’s legacy and community building by allowing her friends and family to donate to Casey Trees to undertake a project in her name. More than 70 people responded with generous donations totaling over $10,000. And then the ideal project was found — a planting at the same school Sally so wanted to plant trees at.
So on Saturday, October 10, friends and family joined David to plant 28 trees at Alice Deal Middle School in honor of Sally.
David describes the day and its impact perfectly:
It was a beautiful day, the perfect project to remember Sally, a great project for people who felt Sally’s loss. I think everyone felt really inspired to be doing something positive with money that was raised by the people who love her. I think it was probably therapeutic for a lot of the people there. Getting incredibly dedicated people who not only care about trees but it’s about dealing with the community, schools, recreation — everyone at Casey Trees are like diplomats and they are great people the work with. It was a great day!
The other great thing about doing a planting of something like this, in the memory of someone is that you then have place to go to remember that person. I think the trees will provide a place where people who loved Sally can go and remember her. And when you plant a tree and see it doing well it’s an incredible feeling, to be able to pass the school and tell someone Sally planted that tree or I planted that tree, you feel great — it changes the whole environment.
Casey Trees was humbled to be asked to coordinate such a meaningful project and we will truly remember the day fondly. Thank you David and family for sharing Sally with us for so many years and asking us to be part of this special day. If you would like to make a donation in honor of Sally you can visit her donation page here.