Green River Star -

Author photo

By Hannah Romero

Honoring Pond and Garden legends

Tree dedicated to Wiley and Toni Morgan


October 13, 2022

Star photo by Hannah Romero

Tom and Lyneen Murphy and Patsy and Julian Sorensen stand by the tree and plaque dedicated to Wiley and Toni Morgan. The Murphys have been with the Pond and Garden Tour for over 20 years, and the Sorensens were a part of this year's tour.

If you walk along Uinta Drive, you'll notice several of the trees have plaques dedicating them to the memory of friends, family, and community members. When you come to the trees in front of the post office, you can now notice a new plaque in front of a little Canadian Maple tree whose leaves recently turned red.

"Leave room in your garden for the angels to dance," the plaque reads.

The tree and plaque were dedicated to the memory of Wiley and Toni Morgan by the 2022 Pond Tour members. A dedication ceremony was held Tuesday evening, hosted by Tom and Lyneen Murphy, who have been with the Green River Pond and Garden Tour for over two decades.

Wiley and Toni Morgan were founding members of the Pond and Garden Tour, working with Lamar and Eileen Green to get it started over 30 years ago. It all began when the Greens invited Wiley over to their house to see their new pond.

"Wiley's the one who wanted to share it with the community," Lyneen explained. "Basically Wiley's responsible for the pond tour - his persistence of getting it going."

Wiley was instrumental in starting the Green River Pond Club, which eventually evolved into the Pond and Garden Tour.

"The Morgans were fierce promoters of the pond tour, and you knew the Morgan's garden home would be on every garden tour," Tom said as part of his speech at the dedication of the tree. "We could always count on Wiley being in the middle and helping with all aspects of our garden tour."

Tom later recalled some of Wiley's unique contributions, like the year he decided to give a gold fish to all of the children who came on the tour.

"We're not sure a lot of the parents were happy with it, but he gave away goldfish," Tom reminisced.

Through the years, the Morgans were essential in educating the community about gardening in Wyoming and showcasing local garden homes.

"We lost Wiley last year and with that came a great loss to our community," Tom said.

After this loss, the members of this year's Pond and Garden Tour decided to do something in Wiley's memory and honor. They sold raffle tickets for several different prizes that were displayed at some of the homes during the tour. With 11 homes on the tour and over 400 visitors attending this year, the tour and the raffle went well.

"Our raffle sales were enough to give praise and thanks to both Wiley and Toni for their continuous involvement with our beautiful community here in Green River," Tom said.

When it came to deciding to honor the Morgans with a tree, once again the idea originated with Wiley himself. After Toni passed away, Wiley dedicated a tree down by the river to her memory. After losing Wiley, Tom and Lyneen knew the best way to honor Wiley would be by dedicating another tree.

"Wiley was such an influence on this, so I wanted to put it right here on Uinta," Lyneen explained. "I wanted him front and center, because he was such an important part."


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