NOW:53219:USA00949
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA00949
48°
H 51° L 39°
Partly Cloudy | 15MPH

Green thumb leaves his favorite season behind

Parks and Recreation supporter dies at 77

May 8, 2008

Jim Smrz was known as a willing volunteer and a green thumb, two talents that made him a natural leader for the Greenfield Partners of Parks and Recreation and the Wisconsin Dahlia Society.

He died April 22 at age 77. Services were held later that week at St. Alphonsus Church in Greenfield.

People who knew him said spring was his favorite season and that they would remember him with each tree and plant in the city's parks.

"He's one of those guys who always gave of himself," said Scott Jaquish, Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department director.

Smrz planted flower beds at city parks, operated the Konkel Park concession stand during numerous sports competitions, sold flowers at the spring dance recital and made items like knock-hockey pucks for summer camp games.

"He did everything from large-scale plantings to small tasks to support Parks and Recreation," Jaquish said.

Most recently, he was helping prepare the city's two newest parks in the Mitchell Highlands and Van Norman neighborhoods.

His efforts resulted in Smrz winning the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association's Honorary Fellowship Award, the highest honor a resident can receive from the group, in fall 2007.

However, that was not his first time receiving recognition for his work with the parks. He founded the city's Dedicate to Relocate Park Tree Program, which helped residents transplant healthy trees from the right-of-way to a city park. The program won the association's Silver Star Award in 1995.

When he wasn't getting his hands dirty in the parks, he could often be found growing or selling dahlias as a member of the Wisconsin Dahlia Society.

"He was very committed," secretary John Thiermann said. "He was always the first one to approach someone new at our meetings to greet them and see how he could get them interested in growing dahlias."

The two men organized their annual Midwest show each fall and sold plants during the Brookfield Green Market.

Each year, Smrz grew 400 to 500 plants in his basement and yard, donating most of them to the society's sales.

He also won numerous Wisconsin State Fair horticulture awards over the years.

Stefanie Scott can be reached at (262) 446-6618.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Help-plan for Kulwicki Park going back to county with ICC endorsement 4/22

» Whitnall School Board to form facilities task force 4/14

» Diamond Stone headlines 2014-15 All-Suburban Boys Basketball team 4/13

» Tornado watch in effect 4/9

» Greendale Village Board hires architect to begin fire station location, design 4/9

» 2015 Milwaukee suburbs election roundup Updated:  4/8

» Newcomers make strong showing in West Allis-West Milwaukee race 4/8

» West Allis man pleads guilty in child porn case 4/3

» West Allis Plan Commission recommends cell tower proposed for park 4/2

» Judge casts cloud over web of sex offender residency restrictions Updated:  4/1

» 2014-15 All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team named 4/1

» Neighbors west of proposed Greenfield Meijer store fear more traffic 3/30

» Action on Greenfield request to take over Kulwicki Park's care delayed 3/30

» West Allis-West Milwaukee School District taps Shorewood superintendent for top spot 3/27

» Glendale mayoral candidates will debate city issues tonight 3/24

» Decision delayed on Nathan Hale High School overcrowding 3/24

» The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective 3/23

» West Allis school board to hold special meeting to OK superintendent 3/17

» Greenfield High School assistant principal going to Arrowhead 3/17

» The Sprint Episode Two: local teams look to defend state basketball titles this week 3/16

» Nathan Hale overcrowding battle sparks write-in campaign for board 3/10

» West Allis-West Milwaukee parents riled at potential loss of choice 3/10

» West Allis-West Milwaukee has preferred finalist for superintendent 3/10

» Milwaukee woman charged in assault over Walmart parking space 3/4

» West Allis hosts National Ave. development plan open house 3/4

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT