McLean’s “Tree Man,” Dick Poole, was honored by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) with a conservation award for his years of service. Poole has labored for decades to make McLean a greener place to live in, through his individual efforts and through his work with numerous local committees.
“He has very quietly put together a structure that will persist long after he’s gone. He’s quiet and modest, but he’s proven very effective,” said Eloise Brooks. Brooks is a Regent with the Arlington House Chapter of DAR and was the impetus for Poole’s nomination.
Pool has served as the chairman of McLean Trees since 1982. Before that, Poole worked with the “Tree Planting Program,” which was started by the McLean Citizens Association. Poole regularly reports to MCA on the activities and status of McLean Trees.
McLean Trees in now responsible for more than 5,000 plantings in public spaces in the unincorporated town of McLean.
Two members of MCA, Jan Perriello, the president, and past president Merrily Pierce sent letters of recommendation to DAR extolling Poole’s work for the community. McLean Trees is a “semi-autonomous committee under the MCA,” said Poole.
“He’s worked with public and private folks every which way, to get people to work together to diminish the cityscape of McLean” with greenery, said Brooks.
Poole said, “This is an award from a very prestigious organization. This is an award for a lot of work I’ve done, but I’m part of an organization which has numerous members who have contributed to the work we achieve.” Poole went on to say he is “pleased and proud” of the award but points out that “a lot of other people have worked towards what has been achieved in my name.”
During Poole's time at McLean Trees, several major green tasks have been undertaken. These include the following:
Planting a row of eight mature Leland Cypress trees behind the Safeway to mask the loading dock;
Thirty trees and shrubs planted along Chain Bridge Road next to Lewinsville Park, where the Farmers Market is held;
Fifty trees, including willow oaks and hedge maples, along Route 123 towards Tysons Corner, including a subproject for these trees of eliminating the bagworms that later infested them;
A grove in a corner of Old Dominion Drive and Dolley Madison Boulevard;
A $2,000 donation to Clemyjontri Park for trees, shrubs and landscaping.
McLean Trees’ major fund-raising activity is recycling old newspapers. Annual average revenue from the newspaper recycling at Cooper Middle School is approximately $7,000.