The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

April 28, 2014

Montour County's hardest-working gardener lauded

DANVILLE — Montour County Commissioner Jack Gerst joked he has seen Bill Zamboni clipping grass with scissors at midnight in Zamboni Park.

Not quite, but close.

Zamboni works night and day to keep the Front Street park sparkling and beautiful year-round.

The commissioners, during their meeting Tuesday night, recognized Zamboni for all he does.

“He is the hardest working gardener in Montour County,” Gerst said, followed by applause from the crowd attending the meeting in the courtroom. It was moved from the commissioners’ meeting room to the courtroom because of the attendance.

“Thank you for all you do,” Commissioners Chairman Trevor Finn told Zamboni, of Danville.

Zamboni received awards from the Philadelphia Horticulture Society five years ago and last year for his efforts.

“He took a parcel of county property and turned it into a beautiful property,” Commissioner Jerry Ward said.

This is the eighth year the park has been in existence.

“You’re a very valuable member of the county,” Finn told Zamboni.

Gerst said Zamboni summons volunteers for large projects such as cleaning up the park.

“What a beautiful entrance to Danville. We can be very proud,” Ward said of the park.

The park, with its hundreds of trees, shrubs and perennials, is a Mecca for people to come to have their pictures taken for proms, weddings and other family gatherings.

Photographs of the park and other images of Montour County are included in a two-page spread in the hardbound book “Small Town Pennsylvania,” by Dennis Wolfe, published about a year ago. Wolfe is from Northumberland.

Zamboni received permission from the commissioners to create the park. He began with a couple of volunteers and a couple thousand dollars in donations. They started at the top of the hill and worked their way around to fill the area with plants, raised beds and walkways.

Brookside Nursery has donated plants for the park now boasting 130 shrubs and trees along with tulips. Now 12 assistants help Zamboni maintain the park.

A gardener since he was a child, Zamboni trims the ornamental shrubs three times a year and also trims every tree and bush.

During the holiday season, he strung thousands of lights on the trees and shrubs and added two lighted trees.

He also shovels snow, mows the grass, waters and does fertilizing at the park.

The park contains five benches he refurbished from Memorial Park in Danville.

At their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners also allocated $14,000 from the tourism fund toward repairs to the county’s only covered bridge and $10,000 from the tourism fund to the Danville Area Little League to help with the women’s collegiate club world series at Echo Field, which was Saturday and Sunday.

“There is a strong possibility it will be held here every year,” Ward said.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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