Memory tree                 April 26, 2005
Boy Scout Troop 115 member Chris Foltz puts the finishing touches on planting an
Ohio Buckeye Tree the troop put in the ground Monday while his fellow scouts pitch
in. The tree was planted in honor of local environmentalist James A. Ward Jr.

By Catherine Burcham/The Ironton Tribune

SOUTH POINT - It was a perfect, sunny evening to plant a tree - in honor of a very
special man.

Boy Scout Troop 115 gathered at the South Point Boat Ramp Monday to plant an
Ohio Buckeye Tree in honor of James A. Ward Jr., a local environmentalist who
passed away in January.

Ward was a retired math teacher with South Point schools and a member of the
Sierra Club. He cared deeply about the environment and frequently passed that
knowledge along to the scouts through films, lectures and various speakers about
preserving our natural resources.

"It's a memorial to what Jim did and what he tried to have everyone remember: To
take care of the planet," Senior Scout Nathan Payne said about the tree planting
ceremony that was in recognition of Earth Day.

Ward started the local Earth Day celebration several years ago and for the past
few years the scouts have been involved.

"You need to be aware and help perpetuate Earth Day all year long," Scoutmaster
Scott Kelley said as he spoke to the troop about the importance of recycling.

The South Point schools have also participated by having poster and essay
contests, and local businesses have contributed by donating savings bonds as
awards.

As a Boy Scout for 11 years, Payne said that he remembers doing the essay and
poster contests in elementary school and enjoys the more recent hands-on
activities. They "usually have a ceremony and clean up the bank on Earth Day, and
whatever else he had planned," he said.

Fourteen-year-old Chris Foltz has only been a Boy Scout for a year, but has
already learned quite a bit about taking care of the environment.

"My mom and dad and I, we all recycle," Foltz said "Recycling meant something to
(Jim) and in a way I sort of knew him a little bit."

Daniel Hughes, another member of Boy Scout Troop 115 said that he didn't know
Ward personally, but said planting the tree in his honor will remind him to recycle.

As the small sapling grows into a mighty buckeye tree, Kelley and the scouts know
that Ward's legacy will grow from the lasting impression he made.

"The big thing we can hope is to leave a lasting memorial for Jim Ward and the
things that were important to him as far as Earth Day and recycling," Kelley said.