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Sample Articles

Preserving Mature Trees

Often Increases Property Value
| By Barbara L. Sherf

Too often, when land is cleared for development, mature trees come down in the process. However, removing trees will often reduce the aesthetic, resale, or rental value of a property. For these reasons, there is a movement underway to fully explore the value of mature trees, shrubs, and other natural plants to a property.
When luxury homebuilder, Toll Brothers, proposed turning the historic U.S. Naval Academy in Philadelphia into a condo and townhouse complex called Naval Square, nearby neighbors and historic preservationists put the pressure on to keep the native 75-year-old trees
in place.

Toll Brothers Project Manager Alex Saltzman agreed there was value in saving the native trees and called in Bartlett Tree Experts to develop a Tree Preservation Plan. The Bartlett team conducted a tree survey and inspection and then developed a strategy to protect them during the construction process. They also proposed a plan for providing the specimens proper maintenance following the lengthy construction process.

Over 85 London plane, oak, maple, magnolia, and linden trees are showcased in front of, and along the borders of, Naval Square. These stately
trees provide a park-like setting for residents and the community to enjoy. It was these woody plants that everyone involved would be working
to protect and preserve.

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Reining In – In Retirement

| By Barbara L. Sherf

(Flourtown, PA – September 6, 2006) — At the age of 72, Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick of Flourtown, Pennsylvania, made his way into the ring at the esteemed Devon Horse Show for the first time in his life. With the exception of last year, he has been competing in the two-wheeled Carriage Pleasure Class since then. Neighbors and horse friends honored him by throwing an 82nd Birthday Party for him today.

“Wow, the thrill of being at Devon is something you can’t imagine. I’d always gone to watch the competitors, but to be one is something indescribable,” says this lifelong bachelor, whom many describe as being an “old-school gentleman and a dying breed.” Dr. Fitzpatrick, and his longtime groom and trainer, Pat Berkery, took home a Fourth Place ribbon when they first showed at Devon, the same prize they took home this year. Berkery, who was managing the Monastery Stables a decade ago, introduced “Dr. Tom” to carriage driving, and the two have been in the ring ever since. First they competed at Ludwig’s Corner and then Devon. There have been a myriad of shows in between.

“It’s a great way for anyone who rides to stay active with horses, but not necessarily in the saddle,” said Berkery. “He enjoyed the experience the first time out and we searched together for a driving horse for him.”

That horse is ‘Famous Seamus, the Wonder Horse,’ or Seamus for short. Seamus is an American Quarter horse and at 17-years of age, he is still going strong. “Seamus knew a bit about driving, but we had to refine his skills and build his stamina,” said Berkery. “But Tom took right to driving, learning all of the harnesses in about two weeks.”

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Riding Back In Time To Rodeo Days

| By Barbara L. Sherf

Even though he doesn’t smoke, my soon-to-be-79-year-old father, Charlie, is the quintessential “Marlboro Man.” Dad grew up on a farm in Maple Shade with two brothers and two sisters. There, he developed a lifelong love of horses and learned about “the power of the almighty buck.”
He talks about working 60-hour weeks in the 1940s, picking tomatoes and transporting them by mule team to Campbell’s Soup, where he earned $30. He turned that money over to his mother, who gave him $10 back.

The big bucks came on Saturday nights. Under the bright lights at Cowtown Rodeo near Woodstown, or at one of the other local rodeos that used to dot the region, he would receive $5 for a ride of a mere eight seconds on a bull or horse. He got to pocket the entire prize!

Of his four children, I was the only one infected by Dad’s love of horses. I remember many Saturdays hanging around a barn in Pennypack Park, cleaning a horse and taking turns riding the trails. I rode through high school, but became too busy with college, career and marriage to ride again regularly. Some folks get red convertibles in midlife; I got back into riding horses. In October 2005, I joined the
Philadelphia Saddle Club, where, for a relatively low monthly fee, I could ride any of five horses as much as I wanted to in Fairmount Park’s beautiful Wissahickon Valley. Soon Dad was coming to the stable to see me ride. He was happy to see me back in the saddle, but he was also frustrated sitting on the fence.

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