ah hawley tree 1PHOTO: Members of the Hawley family gather during a tree-planting ceremony honoring the late Joseph B. Hawley at the Center Avenue municipal soccer field. They are (from top left) sisters Saranne Weimer and Regina Hawley Keelen, nephew Kyle Weimer, sister Annette Jordan, nephew Martin Hawley Jr., brother Martin Hawley and Mary Hawley-Snyder, an aunt.  Photo credit: Mary Thompson

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS -- The borough's Shade Tree Commission has planted a tree in honor of the late Joseph B. Hawley.

Commission Vice Chairman Marilyn Scherfen officiated at the planting of a swamp white oak recently in a recent, well-attended ceremony  at the Center Avenue municipal soccer field.

Among those who spoke were commission members Scherfen, Kathleen Wigginton and Regina Hawley Keelen, the honoree's sister, and Mae Rugg, a member of the Highlands Housing Authority, which operates Ptak Tower, where Hawley lived prior to his death.

joe hawleyPHOTO: Joseph B. Hawley.

A plaque honoring Joseph Hawley will be placed at the site.

The honoree was a former commission member and long-time chairman of the local Democratic Executive Committee. He was also a past member of the Recreation Committee, Planning Board, Board of adjustment and the  Local Assistance Board.  

The tree-planting is part of the Shade Tree Commission's ongoing program to honor residents who have served the community over the years. Each year the commission also distributes seedlings to local youngsters and stages a tree-promoting poster contest for elementary school students. Louise I. Donoghue, the commission chairman, also addresses groups of youngsters at the public library on the value of trees.

The borough was recently designated a Tree City USA for the 33rd straight year.