Memorial Rain Garden in Honor of Sidney Paul Wade
By Kelly DeBord, Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations Coordinator
As a vision becomes reality history becomes our legacy. With great vision and hard work this is how the Memorial Tree Program and the New Memorial Rain Garden have become such a part of Sevierville’s lifeblood.
While working for Delta Airlines in the 1980’s, Sidney Paul Wade traveled the world and saw how cities and towns from near and far were working to grow their communities. With Sid’s deep passion for his hometown, Sevierville, he began to bring home all he was learning and he shared with family, friends, and community leaders. His passion was deep, his knowledge was growing, and Sid’s vision was leading the way. In 1984 the City of Sevierville established the very first Tree Board with Sid Wade acting as Chairman.
From this great vision and determination Sevierville established not only the Tree Board, Sevierville became Tennessee’s third city to carry the title “Tree City USA” . This project was also the seed for our expansive and growing greenway system, currently at about ten miles of greenspace and paths.
Upon the passing of Sidney Paul Wade, the City planted an evergreen tree in his memory City Hall. Over time with harsh weather and adjacent water run-off the evergreen was no longer thriving and a decision had to be made for the future of the evergreen. With deep commitment for those who came before Sevierville, team members knew they must develop and create a project that would endure over time and this is how the Memorial Rain Garden was established in November 2017.
The benefits of planting a rain garden are numerous, with one of greatest benefits being the educational component for both young students and future business partners. We feel Sidney Paul Wade would be proud of this project and we hope our community is too.