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Planting a tree for Eli

Trails program makes first dedication

Pam Hoy, whose 2-year-old son Eli died during an accident at home last year, greets a well-wisher Sunday during a tree-planting ceremony in his memory. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
May 16, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The town's Adopt a Trail program kicked off Sunday with a tribute to Eli Hoy's memory.

Hoy, a two-year-old Sturbridge boy who passed away last year after an accident at his home, lives on in a tree planted Sunday, May 16 at the Leadmine Mountain Conservation Land on the OSV Access Road.

"It allows us to honor Eli," said his father, Jordan, of the day's events.

More than 200 people gathered for the event, which featured the tree planting, a trail cleanup, games and a storybook walk to teach principles of biology, according to Conservation Agent Erin Jacque.

The trail adoption program is seeking applications from people willing to assume responsibility for maintaining the trails. The Hoy family is the first, and so far only, group to adopt a trail, according to Jacque.

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

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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