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Garden Club of Dayton’s Tree Legacy Committee Lives On


March 06, 2024

Even as it notes the passing of a treasured ally in neighborhood beautification

The City of Dayton and all who love neighborhood beautification have lost a true friend and leader. Mr. Herbert Burton passed away on Friday, February 16, 2024, at the age of 95.  Several years ago, Mr. Burton was instrumental in a neighborhood clean-up and enhancement project in partnership with the Garden Club of Dayton (GCD), the City of Dayton, and CityWide Development. These groups, along with many others in the community, honor Mr. Burton’s steadfast leadership and the transformational impact he had on Dayton’s Pineview community.

In recent years, GCD’s Tree Legacy Committee worked with Mr. Burton, the Pineview Neighborhood Association, local partners, and community volunteers to clean up the area around Lakeside Lake in Dayton’s Pineview neighborhood. The Pineview area was developed by a GCD member’s grandfather and in the 1950s it was the only community in Dayton willing to sell homes to Black families. Mr. Burton had purchased his home there after returning from the Korean War. From the beginning, Mr. Burton was very engaged in making his neighborhood a nice place to live. 

When Mr. Burton first moved to Pineview, Lakeside Lake was a key neighborhood amenity. The lake is a 10-acre spring-fed lake that was once part of the Lakeside Amusement Park, which opened in 1890 and remained a visitor attraction until it closed in the 1960s. But, after the park closed and U.S. 35 was constructed nearby, the Lake became severely overgrown with honeysuckle and other invasive plants. The overgrowth not only impacted the beauty and accessibility of the park but was so significant that it even blocked the view of the lake from homes in the area. So, when he retired, Mr. Burton decided to do something about it and set out “to make Pineview the most outstanding community in the City of Dayton.”  

Enter Mr. Burton’s GCD friends who supported his efforts  to bring his project to fruition. GCD members worked with partners including Ohio’s AFL-CIO, the Pineview Neighborhood Association, CityWide Development, and hundreds of volunteers to weed, prune, and dig. They cleared the area of debris, constructed a fishing dock, walking paths, and upgraded parking. Today, the lake is cleared, and the park is a welcoming neighborhood amenity.  

On October 7, 2023, Mr. Burton received the Pineview Merit Award for his historical and distinguished service during his 46-years in the neighborhood. His GCD friends were able to join him for the celebration in his honor.

In 2009, the GCD’s Tree Legacy Committee was created in response to the GCA’s Centennial Challenge to plant trees in the Dayton, Ohio community. The GCD has partnered with CityWide Development and the City of Dayton and many other community organizations to identify sites that would be suitable for planting trees. Over the years, this partnership has resulted in many impactful projects around Dayton.


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