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Town walks a trail away from tragedy

New program in Sturbridge sparked by family

A memorial tree planting ceremony will be held at 12:30 by Pam and Jordan Hoy in memory of their late son Eli. The Hoys’ memorial tree will be planted — and their portion of trail will begin — between two footbridges crafted by Tantasqua vocational students last year. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
May 02, 2010
STURBRIDGE — Trees can outlast people. Memories can last even longer than that.

On Sunday, May 16 the Sturbridge Conservation Commission and trail volunteers will celebrate the official start of the Adopt a Trail program at a clean-up day held at the Leadmine Mountain Conservation Land.

As part of the Adopt a Trail celebration, town officials, along with Pam and Jordan Hoy, will hold a memorial tree planting ceremony in honor of the Hoys' late son Eli. The 2-year-old was killed in an accident at home last year.

The Hoys are the first Sturbridge family to sign up for the Adopt a Trail program, and are, in fact, part of the inspiration behind it.

Leslie Wong of the Conservation Department said the whole idea behind the Adopt a Trail program was to harness the energy and support of townspeople — an energy she saw firsthand in the wake of the Hoy's family tragedy — by offering a means of memorializing loved ones through special plantings, stone placements and benches along Sturbridge's trails.

"I've lived here for 10 years, and I've never seen anything like that," Wong said of the town's response to the Hoys. "That's what triggered the whole Adopt a Trial program."

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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