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Garry Petersen, Irvington Urban Forestry collection

Identifier: L503

Scope and Contents

This collection includes posters from artists and collected by Garry Petersen in Indiana and elsewhere ranging from 1984 to 1992 regarding Arbor Day, history in Franklin, Indiana, and trees. There is also a plaque for the collection with a quote (circa 2017).


  • circa 1984-1992, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Garry Petersen was born in 1952 to an FBI agent, Robert James (1924-1996) and Eleanor Petersen (1922-2017) in New Jersey. He had one brother, Gregory T. Petersen graduated from high school in Annandale, Virginia. He received an A.A. in Cultural Athropology from George Washington University. In 1975, he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and met his future wife, Terri Lynn Peake, while attending a speech class at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 1975. They were married on August 1, 1981 in Evansville, Indiana and had one son, Erik. He earned a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University.

Petersen was a principal of Petersen and Letterman, Inc. and served as a fellow with the Tax Research Analysis Center. He was the senior economist and managing director of William-Lynn-James Inc., a global public policy and strategic planning firm he founded in 1986. He was the principal author of the first plan to redevelop the Monon Railroad into a trail corridor in central Indiana, drafted the city of Indianapolis, Indiana's model ordinance for urban forestry, created the Arbor Day ordinance for the city of Franklin, Indiana, and wrote the grant that led to the development of Franklin, Indiana's greenway trail system. Petersen founded the Irvington Forestry Foundation in 1981 while living in Irvington. He received the Urban Forestry award in 1987 for his citizen activism.

Petersen was honored by several Indiana governors for his public service and was a recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor an Indiana governor can bestow on a resident in Indiana. He died on September 1, 2016 in Greenwood, Indiana.

Sources: "Garry James Petersen." Indiana, Marriage Certificates, 1958-2005. Accessed January 9, 2017. "Robert James Petersen." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed August 29, 2023.

"Garry J. Petersen." Obituary. IndyStar. Accessed January 9, 2017.

"Garry Petersen." William-Lynn-James, Inc. Accessed January 9, 2017.

Konz, Joe. "Just checking in...for Garry Petersen". Photo Potpourri blog, September 21, 2016. Accessed January 9, 2017.


0.47 Cubic Feet (1 half-manuscript box, 3 extra-large oversize folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by size.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Terri Petersen and Erik Petersen on 2017/01/09.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2017/01/09 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created 2017/01/11 by Edythe Huffman. Collection reprocessed and EAD finding aid revised 2023/09/07 by Brittany Kropf.
Garry Petersen, Irvington Urban Forestry collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.