Smethport Web — by Nathan Muller
On Saturday afternoon, members of the Smethport Borough Shade Tree Commission, Jovanna Porter and Jeff Tanner, braved rainy weather to plant 5 hydrangeas at the Shawmut Trail head off the Marvin Street entrance in recognition of Arbor Day. Smethport mayor Wayne Foltz issued the Arbor Day Proclamation on behalf of the Borough.
The multi-use Shawmut Trail extends south along Marvin Creek through woods, meadows and farm land to the county’s former poor farm constructed in 1883.
The poor farm is one of the few remaining in the country and the only one that operates an agricultural program designed to meet the rehabilitation needs of County inmates and individuals on probation. The buildings are restored and adapted for administrative use. Even the original bridge that crosses Marvin Creek has been restored. The bridge repair, funded by the Potato Creek Trail Association and several grants, officially opened in April 2016.
The Shawmut Trail was dedicated in 2014 to the late Smethport physician Dr. Douglas E. Bowman, who made the trail a part of his annual “Walk with Doc” event to promote the health benefits associated with hiking and walking.
Traditionally, Arbor Day is celebrated in communities nationwide with a tree planting event. National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many communities observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on the best tree planting times in their area.
The Bradford Era also covered this event.