November 15, 2015
Memorial tree planting honours industry pioneers
Family members of John Wright, Peter Olsen and Casey van Maris gathered for ceremonial tree plantings on Oct. 21 at LO home office.
A ceremonial tree planting honoured the memories of three members whose work “benefited the future of generations working in the industry.”

Family members joined the provincial board of directors on Oct. 21 on the grounds of LO home office to dedicate trees in the names of John Wright, Peter Olsen and Casey van Maris.

LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni told those present for the ceremony that the three men being honoured were all extremely important to the industry.

John Wright was an Honorary Life Member and president of the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation. He passed away on Aug. 24, 2015. Peter Olsen was a founding member of Landscape Ontario and chair of the Farm Safety Association. He passed away on July 8, 2015. Casey van Maris, a founding member of Landscape Ontario, passed away in 1997.

A tree originally planted by Casey van Maris to mark the opening of the LO offices, was dedicated to his memory. Family members present included Monica, Anna, Kim, Barbara, Alex, Robert
and Cassie.

Waterloo Chapter planted the trees in honour of John Wright and Peter Olsen. DiGiovanni told those present that Phil Dickie of Fast Forest of Kitchener planted the trees, which were donated by M. Putzer Hornby Nursery. “When I asked owner John Putzer how much the trees would cost, he said, ‘There is no way I charge for memorial trees,’” said DiGiovanni.

The LO executive director also said that at a past presidents’ meeting, it was decided to look at creating a memorial garden grove on the LO site. Dave Wright and Paul Brydges have volunteered to develop a master plan for the memorial garden.

Wright family members in attendance were David, Julie, Richard and close family friend Randy Adams.

Family members for the memorial dedication of Peter Olsen included Doreen, Tanya and Leah. In an emotional talk, Tanya said, “My dad always showed us that you can have passion about this industry than is more than simply making a living.”