In an annual Trees Across Texas project initiated in Lubbock by A.E. Quest Jr. and and T.J. Patterson, well-wishers and government officials gathered Friday at the Buddy Holly Recreation Area to plant a tree to honor the city of Plano, and Plano presumably is planting a tree in honor of Lubbock.
Art and Jeanie Quest, children of the late A.E. Quest Jr., have perpetuated the development of a park in that area by donating trees that are cared for and sustained by the Lubbock Parks and Recreation Department.
The trees, planted in an area where debris from the 1970 tornado had been piled and covered over with soil for a later reclamation, now is characterized by the beauty of trees and manicured grass for what has become a park.
“My mother and dad decided to work with the Parks Department. That’s where Trees Across Texas comes from,” Art Quest said.
“Trees also help the environment: They create shade, they create windbreak, they prevent soil erosion, and also the trees benefit by breathing all of the carbon dioxide from the air, which we don’t need as human beings. And they create what they call photosynthesis and create oxygen which everybody needs.”
Jeanie Quest said, “Dad decided he wanted beauty out of all that horrible debris from the tornado, so he started this back in 1981.”
Marie Evans, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and chairwoman of the Lubbock Round Table, told the group that A.E. Quest Jr. was born in 1914 in Oklahoma, graduated from Amarillo High School in 1934 and graduated from West Texas University at Canyon in 1939.
“He was a volunteer with the South Plains Council of the Boy Scouts, a member of the Lubbock Lions Club for 65 years, and was active as a Shriner and Mason.”
City Councilwoman Karen Gibson, in addressing the group, said, “I want to thank the Quest family and the city of Plano — and a special thanks to our Parks and Recreation Department. These guys work very hard.”
Jaret Greaser, special assistant to U.S. Rep. Jodey Arringtron, read from a message from Gov. Greg Abbott:
“Trees add far more than just beauty to our state. They contribute to the natural process of energy conservation, add value to real estate, help clean our air and control runoff and flooding.
“They also shade our family picnics during the unforgiving Texas summers, act as foundation of many a backyard tree house, and line the edges of Texas rivers, providing sturdy branches for the rope swings of adventurous swimmers.”
T.J. Patterson provided the invocation prayer, and instructed the assembly to hold hands in a large circle while he asked God’s blessing on the event.
Gerald Dolter of the Texas Tech Music Department sang a song penned by A.E. Quest Jr., titled “O Lord, Look What Thou Hast Done.” He also led the group in Singing, “God Bless America.”