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Burdette Park
5301 Nurrenbern Rd
Evansville, IN 47712
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The Jean Cook Tree Memorial Fund

Welcome to the Burdette Park Hiking and Biking Trail JEAN COOK TREE MEMORIAL, dedicated to the memory of those who have passed, created for those who will enjoy this space for years to come.

The JEAN COOK TREE MEMORIAL was established as a way to honor and memorialize loved ones while adding to the beauty of one of the southwest Indiana’s most serene parks. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the memorial is invited to work with Burdette Park to purchase a tree which will be planted along the 2.68 mile trail that will eventually link the park to the University of Southern Indiana. Plaques are available for purchase through the West Side Tri-State Trophies store, and will be posted by the memorial tree by park personnel, but are not required. Jean’s Grove is a living memorial, which can be enjoyed by all who pass under its branches.

Jean Cook died October 9, 2005, three days after she was shot during an apparent robbery. The attack happened while she worked, and to this day, her killer remains at large. Shortly after her death, her daughter Bobbi Jo Cook began searching for a way to a lasting memorial to her mother. With the help of local television reporter Andy Schroeder, Cook went before the Vanderburgh County Commissioners to seek permission to establish the memorial at Burdette Park. Through the tireless efforts of Park Manager Steve Craig, the project began to take shape. It was decided that the memorial should line the path of the park’s new hiking and biking trail, which will eventually connect with the University of Southern Indiana. Several trees were removed during the construction of the trail, and a portion of the path stretches through an open field. The memorial will not only provide an opportunity for families to create a lasting tribute to their loved ones, it will populate the trail with new trees from a preferred tree list. If families would like, they can purchase their own tree and present it to the park for planting.Several locations along the tail are designed for trees. The public is invited to purchase trees that will be planted by park staff. The long term goal is to have the entire tree memorial mapped on-line, so visitors will be able to locate the tree dedicated to a loved one then find it along the trail.

The public is invited to memorialize or honor a loved one by having a tree planted in dedication. All trees planted must be chosen from a list of preferred trees that can be found by clicking this link.  Donations to the Jean Cook Tree Memorial will be divided into two categories. A minimum donation of $50.00 is required to have a tree planted (ex: maple or oak) in memory of a loved one. The cost of a tree will vary depending on the type, size and availability so we ask that you call Burdette Park at 812-435-5602 to confirm the donation amount. A donation of less than $50.00 will be applied towards the general maintenance of the Jean Cook Tree Memorial. This includes mulch, fertilizers, disease and pest control chemicals and labor throughout the year. Burdette Park reserves the right to plant all tree donations in designated areas and at the appropriate time of the year. In addition, Burdette Park is not responsible for the loss of trees.

To become a part of this living memorial, you may make a donation in person to the Burdette Park Office or you may click on this link for more details or to make your donation online. A fund to purchase and maintain the trees has been established by park staff, and donations are greatly encouraged. This memorial is open to all, for the enjoyment of all.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in”- Greek Proverb

“Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven” - Rabi Thakur