For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Jeanne Hilt
Marketing, Communications and Events Manager
MARK WHITE GARDEN DEDICATION CEREMONY TO TAKE PLACE MAY 7TH AT 1:00 P.M.
(Louisville, KY)—Louisville Metro Public Works, the Honorable Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP) will gather on Thursday, May 7th at 1:00 p.m. on the southwest corner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets to honor the late Mark White, Louisville Metro’s Arborist, who passed away February 9, 2015 after a long illness.
Mark served Louisville Metro for nearly ten years and was appointed Metro Arborist on July 1, 2008 after spending a year and a half as a landscaping supervisor in the Facilities Division. Prior to working for the city, he ran a private landscaping business. He was known for his positive spirit and winning attitude. According to Public Works Director Vanessa Burns, “it’s Mark’s smile that I will remember most. Even though I know some days it was not easy for him to smile, I never saw a frown on him.”
Former Assistant Director for Roads and Operations Greg Hicks said, “Mark was one of the best men I’ve ever been around. He won’t be replaced as a man, especially the passion he had.” His passion also gained Mark some prestigious official recognition. In 2011, Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton presented him with the Molly Leonard Community Service Award, in 2012 he earned the Dream Foundation Community Pride Service Award, and in 2013 he received the S. Russell Smith, Jr Award of Excellence from LDP. “Mark made invaluable contributions to the beautification of Downtown Louisville,” said Rebecca Matheny, LDP’s Executive Director. “He was definitely our ‘go to’ guy on all tree-related plantings,” she added. Mark willingly shared his love and knowledge of trees with anyone who was interested. Ken Herndon, LDP’s Director of Operations, said “Mark schooled me. I feel like an honorary arborist because of what he taught me.”
The Mark White memorial urban garden is located at the southwest corner of Fifth and Jefferson Streets. The plaque reads, “This urban garden is dedicated to the memory of Mark White from his friends at Louisville Metro Public Works and the Louisville Downtown Partnership.” Sixteen Metro employees, along with LDP staff, worked diligently to remove over 20 tons of debris from the trench. In addition, many other individuals made donations to the project, including: Jim Wallitsch - Wallitsch Garden Center; Erin Thompson – Louisville Metro Account for Public Trees and Urban Forester; Bill Niemann – Sellersburg Metals and Welding; Ken Herndon – LDP; and Michael Hayman.
Mark is survived by his wife Vicki and their two children Matthew and Anika White; his mother Mary S. White; brother Benjamin White Jr., sister Karen Anderson, as well as a host of other relatives and friends.
“We are proud to honor this great man’s commitment to enhancing Downtown Louisville’s appeal with the dedication of this beautiful garden,” said Matheny. “We believe he would be very pleased indeed.”