Tree planting dedication to honor late New Hanover County Commissioner Deb Hays

New Hanover County will host a tree planting dedication for a late commissioner that officials believe will "forever be a symbol of her love for this community."

The dedication and community gathering will take place Wednesday, April 5 at Airlie Gardens, 300 Airlie Road, Wilmington. It will serve as a celebration of life and honor the service of commissioner Deb Hays, who died suddenly at the age of 64 on Saturday, March 25.

A tree planting dedication and community gathering in memory of Commissioner Deb Hays is planned for April 5.
A tree planting dedication and community gathering in memory of Commissioner Deb Hays is planned for April 5.

The dedication will take place rain or shine.

More: New Hanover Commissioner remembered as community advocate, loyal public servant

Hays, a Republican, joined the county board in December 2020. Prior to that, she ran for Wilmington City Council twice − narrowly losing a seat both in 2017 and 2015. She also had served as chair of the Wilmington Planning Commission for eight years, and served on many other boards.

“This will be a chance for our community to come together to reflect and honor the life and work of Deb, and to dedicate a live oak tree that will grow, plant roots, and forever be a symbol of her love for this community,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Rivenbark, according to a news release. “We hope that those who knew Deb can attend for fellowship, sharing of memories, and reflecting on Deb’s life of service.”

The dedication will begin at 1 p.m. with brief remarks, followed by a ceremonial tree planting and blessing on the Bradley Creek lawn. The public is invited to attend. Carpooling is suggested as parking will be very limited.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Tree planting dedication to honor New Hanover Commissioner Deb Hays