By Phillip A. Smith II, Wendell Parks and Recreation
Mayor Virginia Gray proclaimed March 17, 2017, as Arbor Day for the Town of Wendell, North Carolina. The Wendell Tree Board plans to hold multiple events celebrating Arbor Day this year. The town will be holding events at local schools to share the importance of trees, history of Arbor Day, and proper tree planting and initial care. The town’s orchard will be expanded with planting of a new tree.
The town’s public Arbor Day event is Friday, March 24, 2017, at 1pm, in Wendell Park, 601 W Third Street, Wendell NC. From kids to adults, this is a chance to learn and to help plant the town’s new tree. This year plans are to plant a pecan tree in the Pecan Orchard at Wendell Park. By adding new trees to the orchard, the town can do its part to help ensure the orchard will be there for the community for generations to come. Wendell’s pecan orchard is a part of the Capital Tree Program, a Raleigh program to protect older tree plantings, now inactive.
Additionally, Arbor Day Celebrations are planned at Wendell Middle School, Wendell Elementary School — including a Tree City USA Award Presentation, Lake Myra Elementary School, and Carver Elementary School. Tree Board members will discuss the history of Arbor Day, how the town qualifies for the honor of Tree City USA, types of trees, uses of trees, and the proper way to plant and maintain trees. Each school will be planting a Redbud, a Dogwood, or a Willow Oak tree in honor of their graduating class.
Wendell is proud to have an Arbor Day celebration as a member of Tree City USA program. Such a celebration is required for all Tree City USA communities. Wendell is also very proud to say that 2017 will be the 34th consecutive year of being a member of the Tree City USA program.
(Click the Proclamation to enlarge.)
Arbor Day is a day designed to encourage planting trees. Named for the Latin word for tree, arbor, it started as a Nebraska event in the 19th century. The founder of Arbor Day, J. Sterling Morgan, organized the first tree planting event in Nebraska in 1872 where an estimated million trees were planted. Mr. Morgan’s White-House-themed mansion and surrounding, tree-filled (obviously) grounds may be walked as part of the Arbor Lodge State Historical Park (Nebraska City Nebraska). It is worth noting that though he began his work as a newspaper editor, twenty years after his founding of Arbor Day in Nebraska, Mr. Morgan served as US Secretary of Agriculture.
Now, Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states and around the world. National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but locally celebration dates may differ. To learn more about Arbor Day, visit the Arbor Day Foundation at www.arborday.org. Their website includes information on tree care, selection, and benefits.
The Tree City USA program, which began in 1976, provides a framework for communities to plant, expand, and maintain their public tree areas. To see more about the Tree City USA program, see the Arbor Day Foundation overview.