Tullahoma Tree Board Chairman Ralph Graham was in for a surprise during what at first appeared to be another meeting of the board this past week when he was conferred a prestigious national award.
Chairman Graham had just called the meeting to order when the room, normally occupied by just board members, suddenly filled with people. One of those people was Emily Thoma, Regent of the Daughters of American Revolution, who announced that Graham had been selected as an Outstanding Conservationist in the United States.
Graham received the honor after DAR member Ruby Luna nominated him to the national headquarters after reviewing his accomplishments. Although his career was as an engineer at the base, his interest in conservation flourished after he retired.
“Even as a boy, he loved gardening, so he became a Master Gardner,” it was announced during the presentation of the honor, with the presenter noting he joined the Tullahoma Tree Board in 2007. “He was instrumental in the city work for an arboretum celebration of Arbor Day and the continuing achievement of Tullahoma as a Tree City, USA, which has now been awarded for 22 years. He has fostered the city’s memorial/honorarium tree program.”
In his personal life, Graham has become a certified landscape architect and has worked with the South Jackson Civic Center and maintained membership in the Rotary Club.
Tullahoma Mayor Ray Knowis, who was on hand for the surprise presentation, proclaimed the day as Ralph Graham Day in Tullahoma.