Chula Vista Garden Club Dedicates the Barbara Felber Memorial Tree


Norman Park Senior Center, 270 F Street

January 22, 2021

By Sandra Duncan

On a recent rainy afternoon, members of Barbara Felber’s family and friends gathered to observe the planting of a redbud tree in front of Norman Park Senior Center.  Her husband Ted, daughters Lisa McClendon and Laura Floquet, son Bryan and his wife Denée, their son and wife Jeremy & Katy and children were joined by Garden Club President and Vice President Michael and Tish Biedenbender and photographers Tom and Patty Clavell.  The work of Parks & Recreation Administrator Tim Farmer, Park Supervisor Danny Schreck and Public Works employees Armando, Michael, Rafa and Chris plus a generous gift from the family made the planting happen.

We were pleased to welcome former Mayor Cheryl Cox to join our Dedication with history about the family.  “Every time we admire a plant, remove a weed, or nurture our own gardens we can look up to Barbara, for certainly she blessed her family and friends today with memories of her presence.”

For Arbor Day in April 2013, the beautiful Forest Pansy Eastern Redbud now growing in front of the Senior Center was planted in memory of Past President Gloria Bunch.  Sandy Duncan, Past President of the Chula Vista Garden Club, led the effort to plant a matching tree in memory of Barbara Felber.   Barbara was an active, long-time member of the Chula Vista Garden Club who passed away in May 2019.

You will want to observe the different growth patterns of the redbud.  Soon, rose-pink blossoms covering the bare branches will appear for a beautiful floral display, followed by graceful, heart-shaped leaves arranged in an alternate pattern along the branches.  New growth emerges deep purple and matures to a bronze-green-showy fall yellow color.   And the cycle of growth will begin again.

In 1872, individuals, groups and cities around the nation began planting trees to celebrate Arbor Day, celebrations, tributes and memorials.  Chula Vista is one of more than 3,300 communities in the United States recognized for many years as Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for its work to plant and nurture trees.  We have our own Chula Vista Garden Club to thank for their many contributions of planting trees.  It has been said that, “Until you dig a hole, plant a tree, water it and help it survive, you haven’t done anything.”