Back row, from left to right: Cheryl Macklin, Scott Messer, Robin Van Dusen, Ed Sevensky, Jim Gullborg. Front row, left to right: Bill Brainerd, Janis Egan. Not shown: Cindy DeAngelis, Mike Gillan, Jack Tierney

Liz Ball, Coordinator of Educational Programs and Activities

A former high school teacher, Liz Ball started a second career as a horticultural writer, photographer, and teacher about 25 years ago. Her photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and her many books on residential plant and landscape care. She specializes in issues that concern non-gardening homeowners who have lawns and plants to care for, but limited time and interest in working in their yards. Her weekly newspaper column, Yardening, has appeared in the Springfield Press for nearly 20 years.

After moving to Marple Liz was appointed to the Environmental Advisory Board. She was active in creating a tree sub-committee to address the serious decline of our community forest and helped Marple qualify for repeat certification by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City, USA. Liz served as Secretary of the Tree Commission from 2007 – 2014.  She played a key role the committee’s  transition into the Marple Tree Commission and in providing content  for its website.  Presently Liz coordinates the Tree Commission’s Public Education programs including writing articles for Marple Township’s newsletter, planning workshops/seminars for residents, and maintaining bulletin boards at the Township building and in Veterans Park.

Bill Brainerd

Bill Brainerd has volunteered for the Marple Tree Commission since its inception in 2007, planting trees and most recently helping to install a nursery for which he donated space on his property. Bill’s concern for the environment impacts the way he lives. To minimize his carbon footprint on the environment, he uses a bicycle as his sole means of transportation from his home on Palmer’s Mill Road to all points in Marple Township and neighboring communities. Bill has been active in the Sierra Club for the past 16 years and has served as political chair for the past ten. In 2013, CRC Watersheds Association honored him for his many years of participation in cleaning up Crum, Ridley, and Chester Creeks.

When Greenbank Farm went up for sale in 2000, Bill joined with Marple Township and the Delaware County Historical Society to purchase 34 acres of land in Marple Township for open space. He is a member of the Legacy Club of the Natural Lands Trust, which he has long supported.

Bill served on the Marple Township Zoning Board from 2007 – 2012, and is reputed by many to be the most knowledgeable person in the Township regarding Marple’s code.

Cindy DeAngelis, Corresponding Secretary

Cindy, whose family has lived in Broomall for two generations, works as a Registered Nurse at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Interested in gardening since she was a child, Cindy worked as a researcher for the Florida Keys Marine Institute where among other things, she planted re-vegetation areas in the Lower Keys. She attended Master Gardener classes at Penn State University and has been an exhibitor at the Philadelphia Harvest Show for many years.

Cindy is probably best known for her tireless work with the Marple Beautification Committee. The Committee’s plantings of trees and flower beds along the West Chester Pike won the PA Horticultural Society’s Suburban Greening and Maintenance Award.  Cindy is MTC’s Corresponding Secretary.

Janis Egan, Re-Leaf Marple Coordinator

Janis, mother of two children and grandmother to six, moved to Marple 62 years ago, and she recalls that, unlike today, most of the township was covered by a rich canopy of trees. After graduating from Marple Newtown High School, she married her childhood sweetheart. Janis, a member of the 1696 Thomas Massey House Board of Directors, also volunteers for Walk for the Wounded. She monitors the newly planted trees at Worrall Elementary School, the Tot Lot, and North Malin Road Park. She is always ready to help wherever and whenever she can.  Janis is in charge of Re-Leaf Marple, MTC’s program for planting trees on private properties.  She also organizes the receptions for Arbor Day and other events.

Mike Gillan

Mike Gillan resides in Broomall with his wife, Linda, and four children. Mike is the owner of MG Tree, which is located in Marple Township and has 17 employees. Mike graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree, then obtained his Master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University. He served as a police officer for several years with the Lower Merion Police Department where he worked many night shifts while he built and operated his company during the day. Mike, a Certified Arborist, enjoys identifying and evaluating the health of trees. He has assisted Marple Township in removing some of the more difficult nuisance trees.

Jim Gullborg

Jim, a World War II veteran who served as a 1st class machinist on a LST (Landing Ship for Tanks) in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946, saw action at Normandy, South France, and Okinawa. After the War, he enrolled in the Forestry Program at Penn State University where he completed his B.S. in 1950. In 1955, his was the 8th family to move into Lawrence Park.

For 30 years, Jim owned and operated Arbor Tree, a 16-man tree service. He continues to work as a consulting arborist. As the Tree Commission’s only certified arborist, Jim provides advice to the Township on hazard and diseased trees. He also plants trees, removes dead/diseased trees, and, on occasion, climbs trees.

Neil Lipson

A semi-retired electrical engineer and full-time computer consultant who has lived in Marple Township for 38 years, Neil Lipson volunteered to water a tree in Veterans Park and to monitor the park’s newly planted trees because he has a strong interest in horticulture including research into fertilizers, growing techniques, and insect and pest control. Neil has been growing plants all of his life. At age 7, he was growing carnivorous plants and to this day maintains a large collection of them as well as a large collection of cacti; however, growing African violets is his passion.

Of the more than 20,000 different types of African Violets, Neil specializes in Chimeras. He has written 8 articles on Chimeras alone as well as dozens of articles on growing African violets for African Violet Magazine for which he has been a contributing editor for the past 20 years. As a member of the African Violet Society of Springfield, Neil shows his violets at their annual show at the Springfield Mall where he has received dozens of awards in the past 7 years, including Best Variegated and Best Tri-State African Violet Collection.

Photography is a serious hobby for Neil. While he mainly concentrates on photographing African violets and other plants, he has recently begun taking pictures of various events sponsored by MTC.

Cheryl Macklin, Ph.D., Secretary

Cheryl Macklin is a retired Biology teacher. She is a Marple-Newtown graduate and has been a resident of Marple Township since 1987. While teaching at Upper Darby High School Cheryl started the Students for Environmental Action. For their work in environmental education for students from elementary school through college, the students won an award from the EPA.

Cheryl was named Pennsylvania Environmental Woman of Action. She also taught the elementary Summer Science workshop in cooperation with the Darby Creek Valley Association. In addition to filling the role of Secretary, Cheryl works with Liz Ball in developing MTC’s Public Education programs and activities.

Ed Sevensky

Ed, a retired high school guidance counselor from Ridley Township, has lived in Marple Township since 1988.

Ed has a long-standing interest in horticulture and environmental issues. He completed the Certificate of Merit in Ornamental Plants at Longwood Gardens and did four years of part-time study in Landscape Architecture at Temple University.

Ed and his wife Kate maintain a variety of landscape plantings on their one-third acre property where they have planted twelve trees. Both Kate and Ed understand the value of trees in helping to moderate climate, reduce runoff and improve air quality. Ed monitors the newly planted trees at the Marple Public Library, and he has contributed articles for the Tree Commission’s website.

Jack Tierney

Jack and his wife and their two children have lived in Marple Township since 1989. Jack began volunteering for the Marple Tree Commission in 2011 and is one of its few members who isn’t a senior citizen.  He is a regular participant in tree planting events throughout the Township and a Tree Adopter. While Jack’s wife doesn’t allow him to weed flower beds because he doesn’t know a weed from a flower, Jack’s ability to dig holes, carry heavy loads, etc. makes him a valuable asset to the Tree Commission.

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