The floral and horticultural beauty of Cardington for the past 32 years can be largely credited to Richard “Dick” Hack, who as a member of the Cardington Beautification Committee and The Village Tree Committee restored beauty to the village of 2,000 following the devastating tornado of 1981.
Hack, a lifelong resident of Cardington, has retired and was honored on May 5 when Mayor Susie Peyton declared that day as Arbor Day in the village and dedicated the planting of a Canadian Red Cherry tree in his honor.
It was planted at the entrance to the village offices.
Following the tornado, Hack, a village mail carrier at the time, became one of 26 members of the Beautification Committee. They set about planting flowers in 40 barrels and 17 flower beds throughout the village.
From spring through fall, and one warm fall when the season extended into December, Hack and his team faithfully watered, weeded and tended the Dragon Begonias and Bright Red Geraniums that brought eye catching beauty to the village whose profile was permanently altered following the tornado.
Hack was also named to the Tree Beautification Committee chaired by the late Pat Bracken. The village had lost 800 trees in the tornado including all that stood in the park and 40 in the cemetery. The committee’s efforts that first year earned the village the first Tree City USA designation in 1982 and the village has continued to win that award every year, accepting the latest in April.
There were more than 400 trees planted those first years after the tornado with the work in charge of committee members Duane Fender, Tom Daniel, Nelda Akron, Mayor Billy May and Bracken, all deceased, and Marge Breckner and Hack.
As beautification members retired or passed away, Hack’s family worked with him in the planting and caring of the flowers in the barrels and flower beds.
In addition to Hack, Marge Breckner is the remaining member of that committee. Others are stepping up to continue the work of Hack but his dedication to the job that beautified this village will not be forgotten.
Cardington Village staff members surround Richard Hack as a tree is dedicated to him on Arbor Day. From left: Cheyenne Matheney and his son Waylan; Council members Jim Morris, John NIppert, with Richard “Dick” Hack
Mayor Susie Peyton, and Council member Nancy Edwards, Deb Fry, Fiscal Manager and Heather Deskins, council member.
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