RIVERTON, Utah – Two trees planted in a Riverton city park without permission will be removed, but the city is working with the people who planted those trees after learning they were part of a memorial.
The original trees appeared without permission or notice about a year ago, and while some neighbors are upset the trees are being removed, the city is helping the family honor their loved one.
The small trees at the park attracted the city’s attention, leading to a sign stating: “Attention: Whoever planted these trees please contact the Riverton City Parks Department.... These trees will removed in two weeks.”
One neighbor spoke to FOX 13 news about the issue, but requested they remain off-camera.
"Trees are an improvement, and trees are life, and they give off shade for people at the park who need it,” they said.
The trees in question are sitting next to some benches, which bear a plaque stating “In loving memory Tracie 1969-2013.”
Angela Trammell, a communications manager for Riverton City, said they realized the trees and benches were meant to be a memorial.
"You do see the memorial plaque and you know it was something meant to be special and something that was important to someone,” Trammell said.
The benches appeared a year ago, a mystery for the city. One set of trees already died, so when a second set appeared, the city reached out with the sign.
"Talked with him about coming out with him and his family and being able to plant new trees,” Trammell said of the resulting discussion.
Trammell said they are glad they were able to work with the family and find a way to move forward. The new trees will be more suited to the park and more likely to survive.
"This is something that is a true success story for the park and for the individuals who have a great memory here that they want to preserve,” she said.
The two trees will be removed, but the trees planted in their place will be there for Tracie and her loved ones for years to come.