Roughly 200 close friends of Arboretum Director Emeritus John Wott gathered in the Arboretum on Sunday afternoon, October 2, to celebrate his tireless leadership, inspired teaching, and passionate advocacy for the Arboretum—and to dedicate a trail in the New Zealand Forest in his honor.
It was a splendid sunny day, featuring bagpipe music, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and a procession up the trail, followed by speeches, champagne, and cake at the Pacific Connections shelter.
Foundation Executive Director Paige Miller emceed the remarks portion of the event and gave the toast. Other speakers included Director of Planning and Development at Seattle Parks and Recreation Michael Shiosaki and UW School of Environmental and Forest Science’s Tom Hinckley.
In her speech, Paige quoted one of John’s former students, Jamie Gibbs, “How appropriate that the Arboretum is naming a path for John, considering the professional, moral, and spiritual path he has guided his followers down for years.”
Congratulations John and thank you!
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[note title=”A Poem for John” align=”center” width=”560″]
By Andy Sheffer
When pressures of momentum
Don’t make obligations sway
You stop to help your Arboretum
Or, another on the way
For solutions you seek History
Learn what matters from the past
It becomes a moral story
to seek harmony at last
When the past reveals a curve
And status quo gets too old
Complacency hits a nerve
And John steps into the fold!
Holding court with confidants
At BurgerMaster, of course!
John Wott listens to the wants
And looks for grace to endorse
In time, reason, does prevail
Stormy wind swells up fresh air
What merit does change entail?
To serve public need with care!
Regarding human kindness
John services those in need
He is one of mindfulness
Gardens are his tool indeed!