The City of St. Augustine will commemorate Arbor Day on Friday, January 20th at Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park located at the southern terminus of Riberia Street. The brief ceremony starts at 11:00 a.m. and all Historic City News readers are invited to attend.
The 2017 ceremony marks the 34th year the city has received the prized designation of Tree City USA from the Arbor Day Foundation. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, there are 173 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.
As is the tradition, the ceremony will include the planting of trees by city officials and presentations by the Street Tree Advisory Committee. This year the trees being planted are Yaupon Holly, Bald Cypress and Live Oak, all donated by Southern Horticulture.
Past Arbor Day ceremonies have included planting of 97 trees, including Holly, Live Oak, Red Maple and Sycamore trees at 24 locations, citywide.
Locations where Arbor Day planting has occurred include:
- Sebastian Inland Harbor
- Rollins Park
- Joseph Pomar, Jr. Recreational Facility
- Eddie Vickers Recreational Facility
- Government House
- Edward “Red” Cox Recreational Facility
- Plaza de la Constitución
- Willie Galimore Center
- Davenport Park
- Fullerwood neighborhood
A visit is planned from Smokey the Bear and the Environmental Youth Council will participate in the ceremonies.
Saplings, including Red Maple, Southern Red Cedar, Live Oak, Slash Pine and Loblolly Bay, are being distributed free of charge to all in attendance.