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The James M. Ragsdale Memorial Grove This grove of flowering crab apple trees and benches was designed and planted in memory of one of New Bedford's civic leaders, James M. Ragsdale, editor of the Standard Times from 1976-1994. The Grove was designed by Jim Sears and planted in 1995 with the intent of providing comfortable sitting areas beneath trees adjacent to the campus buildings. Students from the University's Horticulture class dug and transplanted the flowering crab apple trees from Mr. Ragsdale's nearby residence. Private gifts funded this project totaling $5000. In the flyer for the Dedication ceremony dated May 5, 1995 Sears wrote:
"The campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is a place where people of all walks of life come together to question, to seek truth and meaning, to share visions for the future, or just to enjoy the landscape and the architecture. It is fitting then that this gathering place is the site of the Ragsdale Grove. The grove, too, is a place for people to sit quietly, to read, to converse, to think, or just enjoy sitting among Jim's trees. The granite benches, nestled among the flowering grab apple and oak trees, provide a comfortable place to sit while surrounded by a bit of Jim Ragsdale's life. The University is pleased to provide, with the support of friends, family, and associates of journalism, this memorial grove of trees and benches to the memory of one of the fine leaders and visionaries of the surrounding community."
Now, almost 6 years later, (2001), the trees are thriving. As planned they provide shade and intimate scale to the granite benches where visitors often sit on warm days. The flowering crabs come to full bloom about the 5th of May. The two English oaks (Quercus robur), started from acorns in 1988 by Jim Sears, are filling out and are growing into respectable sized trees.
Last Updated On: 2/25/04
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