Susan Taylor Susan Taylor

Retired School Teacher

Morrison, Oklahoma

Trees Grow a Small Dusty Town

As a long-time resident of this Oklahoma town of 750, Susan Taylor knows what a difference trees can make. She especially appreciates them in the new three-acre arboretum that has transformed a parcel of land she says “looked horrible” into a popular destination where residents stroll, take their children and walk their dogs.

More than 500 trees have been planted in the arboretum, the city park and along the highway that runs through town. “These trees absolutely are an uplifting part of our town and contribute to our growth,” Susan says. “Our small town is a growing place with new housing and development, as well as a growing family population.” The tree planting was made possible through grants from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture’s forestry division and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. A 12-person tree board and full-time horticulturalist oversee planting and care of the trees. Water is provided by the city’s Maintenance Department. Were it not for the support from state agriculture and transportation officials, as well as city resources, the community may have struggled to keep itself on the map. “That space was just a dusty field,” Susan adds. “Now people are out in the arboretum all the time.”

Susan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2015 and passed away in August 2016. During that year and a half, her husband often brought her to the arboretum to walk one mile. That exercise contributed to a high quality of life, enabling her to be strong enough to take family trips to New York City and abroad. She loved walking the gentle hills, on the paved trail, among the trees.

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These trees absolutely are an uplifting part of our town and contribute to our growth.

Susan Taylor


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