Founding Tree Commission members (left to right): Dick Kane, Norman Rex and Terry Keiser, sit on the new bench dedicated to them and their service. (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)
Founding Tree Commission members (left to right): Dick Kane, Norman Rex and Terry Keiser, sit on the new bench dedicated to them and their service. (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)

ADA — There’s a new bench in Ada.

Out in front of the Rite Aide.

There used to be a bur oak tree there, the biggest (and oldest, in fact it was getting too old) oak tree in Ada. But it was cut down last year, and, fittingly, this particular bench went in.

Fittingly, because the bench was put in to honor the Founding Fathers, if you will, of the Ada Tree Commission. And recently there was a Dedication Ceremony for the bench, and for these guys.

Terry Keiser. Dick Kane.

Norman Rex.

Among those in attendance at the ceremony were Mayor Dave Retterer, Village Administrator Jamie Hall, and assistant Village Administrator Angela Polachek.

Rex said the Tree Commission met initially in 1977 and formed under the auspices of the village council, of which Rex was also a member.

Rex always liked trees.

Growing up in Ada, he played in trees as a young kid and later, as a Boy Scout, he planted a grove of trees as one of his projects.

A harbinger of things to come.

Rex said that the Tree Commission enrolled in being a Tree City USA town in 1981. The village became the second Tree City USA town in all of northwest Ohio at the time, just behind Bowling Green, which had enrolled the year before.

Rex said that besides the aesthetics trees bring to town, people should be aware of how important trees are in helping curb things like global warming.

Besides being carbon sinks and giving off oxygen, trees planted strategically around a home prove good wind breaks in the winter and provide shade in the summer, diminishing the some need for energy when it comes to heating or cooling.

Over the years, the Tree Commission, Rex said, has planted a diverse mix of trees throughout Ada. What’s more, the commission regularly works with residents in regard to tree consultancy, etc.

Rex, 86, is a retired ONU professor.

What’s more, he’s still on the Tree Commission and still sometimes gets out to trim trees.

As a bit of village trivia: Rex’s former residence (he still owns the home, but his grandson currently lives there), at 310 S. Gilbert St., has two of the oldest spruce trees in town.

They were planted in 1850 “…right after the Civil War,” he said.