The Street Tree Advisory Committee reported to the St. Augustine local news desk at Historic City News that they were joined by members of the St. Augustine City Commission and Smokey Bear prior to the planting of this year’s Arbor Day tree.
From (left to right) are Commissioner Don Crichlow, Mayor Joe Boles, Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline, Vice Mayor Errol Jones, Gina Burrell, Chuck Lippi, Chairman of the Street Tree Advisory Committee, Smoky Bear, Sally Ann Freeman, Greg Dunn, Robin Nadeau and Carol Bennett.
The City of St. Augustine commemorated Arbor Day on Thursday January 14th with the planting of six Live Oaks on the perimeter of Francis Field.
The ceremony preceding the tree planting included presentations by the city’s Street Tree Advisory Committee, and readings and musical selections from Ketterlinus Elementary School students. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Smokey Bear and crews from the city Parks Division distributed Southern Red Cedar, Live Oak, Bald Cypress, East Palatka Holly, and Red Maple saplings to all in attendance.
“Arbor Day is a special day for our city,” said St. Augustine Mayor Joe Boles in his opening remarks. “It is important that we, as a community come together to plant trees, because by doing so we say that planting trees is important to us all.”
This year’s ceremony marked the 27th year the city has received the prized designation of Tree City USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation. There are 138 cities in the State of Florida which have received the designation of Tree City USA, but only eleven have received the designation longer than St. Augustine. In addition, the Foundation presented the city with the Tree City USA Growth Award, an honor it has received every year since 1991.
Smokey Bear distributed saplings to Ketterlinus Elementary students at the conclusion of the 2010 Arbor Day Ceremony.
While National Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April, individual states hold ceremonies on dates better suited to their own tree-planting season. Florida’s Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Friday in January, but since that day is a teacher planning day and public schools are not in session, this year’s event was held the day before to allow participation by Ketterlinus Elementary School whose campus is adjacent to Francis Field.
Mayor Joe Boles presented a certificate of appreciation to Wayne Jenkins, Ketterlinus Elementary School Principal, during the 2010 Arbor Day Ceremony.
Over the last 26 years the city’s Arbor Day ceremonies have contributed 66 trees to our community including Holly, Live Oak, Red Maple, Sycamore, Dogwood, Golden Raintree and Magnolia trees at Sebastian Inland Harbor, Joseph Pomar, Jr. Park, The Plaza, Oglethorpe Park, Twine Park, Government House, J. Edward “Red” Cox Park, Davenport Park and the Fullerwood Neighborhood