PORTSMOUTH — Al Chapman may be gone, but a tree planted in his memory will hopefully stand for a good long time.
On April 17 the Tree Commission sponsored a tree planting at the Portsmouth Middle School for Arbor Day 2014. The black tupelo tree was donated by National Grid and dedicated to the late Mr. Chapman, a popular First Student bus driver who died in October 2013.
Among those attending were Town Council member David Gleason; Tee Jay Broudreau, state forester for the R.I. Department of Environmental Management; Chris Rooney from National Grid; members of the staff and drivers from the First Student; middle school Principal Joseph Amaral; students who rode Bus 14; and Lillian Chapman and members of her family.
The tree planting site was prepared by the Public Works Department under Director Dave Kehew.
Mr. Gleason presented an Arbor Day proclamation from the Town Council and Mr. Broudreau presented the town with a Tree City award of $1,750 from the America the Beautiful organization.
The grant is to be used to plant trees in Portsmouth. Mr. Broudreau commended the town and its Tree Commission for their aggressive efforts in that regard.