The City of St. Augustine reported to Historic City News that they will commemorate Arbor Day on Friday January 21st with the planting of four Live Oak trees in the community garden area of the Willie Galimore Recreation Center located at 399 South Riberia Street.
The brief ceremony starts at noon and the public is invited to attend.
The ceremony preceding the tree planting will include presentations by the city’s Street Tree Advisory Committee, and musical selections from students of the Lead the Way School.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Smokey Bear will assist in a tree-giveaway by handing out a wide variety of saplings including Southern Red Cedar, Live Oak, River Birch, Bald Cypress, East Palatka Holly, Red Maple and Sycamore.
This year’s ceremony marks the 28th year the city has received the prized designation of Tree City USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation. There are 153 cities in the State of Florida which have received the designation of Tree City USA, but only 10 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.
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.
The site for the annual Arbor Day ceremony and the type of tree planted changes from year to year. Over the last decade, ceremonies have included planting Holly, Live Oak, Red Maple and Sycamore trees at Sebastian Inland Harbor, Francis Field, Joseph Pomar, Jr., Recreational Facility, Eddie Vickers Recreational Facility, Government House, J. Edward “Red” Cox Recreational Facility, the Plaza de la Constitución, Davenport Park and the Fullerwood neighborhood.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer