Monday, November 23, 2015

Rich Gerfin named chair for Tree Society membership drive

The Columbia Tree Society has begun their annual membership drive for 2016. The Society is the fundraising auxiliary for the Columbia Borough Shade Tree Commission. Membership dues enable the Shade Tree Commission to purchase and maintain street trees in the borough.

Over the last 21 years, the Shade Tree Commission planted approximately 790 trees in the community as well as maintaining street trees, and has received the National Arbor Day Foundation's "TREE CITY USA" designation for 23 consecutive years. 

The Columbia Borough Shade Tree Commission strives to encourage street tree plantings as well as yards, parks and public places, as trees retain large volumes of rainfall, thereby reducing and cleansing runoff. They also increase property values, reduce air pollution, calm traffic and lower noise levels. Manageable storm water runoff results from abundant trees, multi-use catch basins and rain gardens reduced impervious surfaces, and increased ground vegetation. The benefits are lower costs and a more livable, sustainable environment. 

Shaded homes and tree-filled yards make urban life more pleasant and provide practical benefits such as lower heating and air conditioning costs and increased re-sale values. The tree canopy is also a major contributor to storm water runoff reduction. 

Rich Gerfin

Charles "Rich" Gerfin lll has been selected by the Shade Tree Commission to be the honorary chairperson for this year's membership drive. 

Rich is a long time resident of Columbia and is one of the town's biggest supporters in community service and youth activities. He has been a volunteer most of his life and started by serving as a fire fighter with the Keystone Hook and Ladder Company where he served as a bingo worker and long time treasurer. 

He has served on committees for the local Memorial Day and Halloween Parades. He has also been a Past Financial Secretary of Columbia United Methodist Church and Treasurer of the Sunsnappers, Columbia Lions Club, and the Columbia Education Foundation. 

He initiated the construction of the Columbia High School Football Field press box at no expense to the borough taxpayers, and spearheaded the project to enable the High School Football Concession stand to pass health codes. He currently holds a state office with the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. 

Rich is a 1959 graduate of Stevens Trade School, now College of Technology and serves on their Alumni Board. Please consider making a contribution to the Columbia Tree Society.

A flyer from the 2nd Annual Columbian Roast featuring Rich Gerfin

Membership categories are as follows: 
  • Student     $2.00 
  • Individual $10.00 
  • Family      $20.00 
  • Business   $50.00 
  • Life          $100.00 
Memorial Certificates for deceased loved ones can be purchased for $50 and will be presented at the annual Arbor Day celebration on Friday April 29, 2016 at a site to be determined. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held indoors at the Columbia Borough Municipal Building, located at 308 Locust Street. 

Please make checks payable and mailed to: Columbia Tree Society PO Box 509 Columbia, PA 17512. 

A copy of the Shade Tree's annual report to council can be requested by writing to the same address above. 

Members of the Columbia Shade Tree Commission are Bill Kloidt - Chairman, Amy Evans - Secretary, Mark Zeamer - Treasurer, Ron Fritz and Josh Birk. 

The Commission partners with the Columbia Park Rangers throughout the year in maintaining street trees and park trees. lf interested in participating, please attend a Shade Tree Commission meeting, held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, commencing at 6:30 p.m. in the Columbia Borough Municipal Building, or call the Columbia Municipal Office at 684-2467.

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