Historical group marks anniversary of arboretum

The His­tor­ic­al So­ci­ety of Ta­cony cel­eb­rates the 15th an­niversary of Christa Lewis Me­mori­al Ar­bor­etum by adding three new stones on Sat­urday af­ter­noon. (Tom War­ing)

The His­tor­ic­al So­ci­ety of Ta­cony on Sat­urday af­ter­noon cel­eb­rated the 15th an­niversary of the Christa Lewis Me­mori­al Ar­bor­etum by adding three stones. The stones me­mori­al­ized four former Ta­cony res­id­ents: Rita (Mace) D’An­drea, Tony Rocco, John “Brat” Kroger and Peg­gie Hib­n­er.

In all, there are 30 stones in the ar­bor­etum, which is loc­ated in Dis­ston Park and stretches along Key­stone Street from Dis­ston Street to Prin­ceton Av­en­ue.

The ar­bor­etum is named in memory of Christa Lewis, a 16-year-old St. Hubert High School hon­or stu­dent stabbed to death at a car­ni­val at Russo Park in 1996.

The Rev. Ar­thur John­son Jr., long­time pas­tor of Ta­cony Baptist Church, led the crowd in pray­er and the singing of How Great Thou Art and Be­cause He Lives. A bag­piper also per­formed.

State Rep. Mike McGee­han offered re­marks as did re­l­at­ives of the in­di­vidu­als me­mori­al­ized with the new stones, which are in front of trees and plant­ing areas.

The ar­bor­etum fea­tures stones sponsored by fam­il­ies of every­day Ta­cony cit­izens who have died. There are also stones for Gary Sker­ski, the com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer in the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict who was shot to death in 2006; vic­tims of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks on Sept. 11, 2001; Our Lady of Con­sol­a­tion School; and Ta­cony May­fair Sons of Italy Lodge 447.

Plans for 2013 in­clude res­tor­a­tion of broken fen­cing along Prin­ceton Av­en­ue and Key­stone Street, re­mov­al of over­growth along the rail­road side north of Tyson Av­en­ue, new sig­nage near Prin­ceton Av­en­ue and dis­cus­sions about up­grades to the bas­ket­ball courts and benches. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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