Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, July 23, 2009

07-23-09 Memorial Tree Vandalized

07-23-09 Memorial Tree Vandalized
   Boise, July 24, 2009 - Boise Police are asking the public's help to find the vandal who cut down a 40- foot oak tree dedicated to the memorial of a Boise City Public Works employee.
 
   The vandalism was reported to Boise Police early this morning by employees of the Lander Street Wastewater Treatment Plant, 790 N. Lander Street. The tree sat next to the Greenbelt bike path behind the plant.
 
   The tree was a Golden Oak, approx 40-feet tall, valued at more than $1,000, making the vandalism a felony. Investigators say it appears the tree was cut with a machete or small hatchet, leaving an approx 4-foot tall stump. The tree fell on grass adjacent to the Greenbelt (see photos bellow).
 
   The vandalism may have occurred yesterday during the daylight, Wednesday, July 23rd, between 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
 
   The walking path through that area is well used, and Boise Police are asking anyone who may have seen something suspicious in the area to please call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
 
   ABOUT THE MEMORIAL OAK TREE:
 
   The oak tree was a memorial to Boise City Public Works Engineer Joel Hathhorn. Hathhorn was instrumental in designing and implementing renovations at the wastewater treatment plant in the mid-90's. The 31 year old Hathhorn was an avid kayaker and was killed in a kayaking accident in 1997. Hathhorn's family and co-workers honored him with the memorial tree.
 
   "Joel was a young, energetic engineer who did terrific work on behalf of the citizens of Boise," said Angela Deckers, Hazardous Materials Coordinator for the Boise Public Works Department, and who worked alongside Hathhorn.
 
   "Joel made sure the citizens of Boise got what they paid for in making improvements at the wastewater plant. He was extremely good at his job, and he loved extreme sports. He was an extreme kayaker and he died doing what he loved to do. It's terribly sad to see what's happened to his memorial." said Deckers.
 
   According to Vince Trimboli, Community Relations Supervisor for the Boise City Public Works Department, Public Works employees will work with Boise City Parks and Recreation Forestry Unit to replace the tree and restore the memorial.
 
   "It's difficult to replace a beautiful 12 year old tree," said Amy Stahl, Community Relations Coordinator for Boise Parks and Rec. "Our Forrestry Unit will plant another tree at the site when the weather cools a bit this fall."