The Cottonwood Tree - Erie's Town Logo Inspiration

The Cottonwood that inspired the logo is the first, and only, tree east of the intersection of County Line Rd. and Hwy. 52, on the south side of the highway.

Written by Nancy Wurl, wife of Leon A. Wurl.

"Leon Wurl and I loved that tree. Its solidarity, tenacity, and despite all odds, it’s just being there. We took many, many pictures of it in all four seasons. Leon had a long history of studying, nurturing, and promoting trees. Under his urging and direction, Westminster, Aspen, Louisville, and Erie all created tree programs as part of their municipal planning. All earned the designation as members of Tree City USA and developed arboretums. To ensure the awareness of the need for trees in the communities, new homes built in the communities are given certificates for a tree to be planted in the new front yards to provide not only for the esthetics but energy-saving value.

Much like the Town of Erie, soon to celebrate its 200th anniversary, the Cottonwood has survived despite not being near water and having no protection from the winds, droughts, hail, and human destruction.  It has deep roots to access water and to provide stability against the wind. Erie too has survived despite the minimization of the commerce railroads provided, the closing of the coal mines, and the downsizing of agricultural endeavors in the area. The tree symbolizes strength, durability, and independence while providing comfort, safety, and added value to life.

During the winter, the tree loses its leaves but gains life-sustaining moisture from the snow and rain and the bare branches offer roosting and nesting spots for the eagles, hawks, and owls.  In the Spring, the budding leaves are a sign of continued life, hope, and activity. Summer leaves provide shade, shelter, food, and oxygen for all God’s creatures. The golden leaves of Fall are part of the logo to represent the softness, durability, and value of gold and the generosity and welcomeness of the tree and of the residents of Erie.

Also, notice that the branch on the right (south) side of the tree that extends out further than the normal shape of the tree symbolically points toward the Town of Erie."