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Monticello Tree Board and Monticello Elementary Celebrate Arbor Day

March 5th, 2014 by

DSC03028Monticello Tree Board members Hope Bragg and Lee Williams greeted more than 500 students and teachers from the Monticello Elementary School K-2 classes who had gathered in the school cafeteria to celebrate Arbor Day.

Mr. Williams discussed the history of Arbor Day, the benefits of trees, and the purpose of the Tree Board. Mayor Allen Maxwell read the Arbor Day proclamation. Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) District Forester Joe Friend presented a Tree City USA flag to Mayor Maxwell in recognition of Monticello’s 6th Tree City USA award. Special guest at the ceremony was Smokey Bear arranged by Mr. Williams and the AFC. Afterwards, Mrs. Bragg presented the students with pine seedlings, donated from Potlatch, and each student then had an opportunity to personally greet Smokey Bear. The school was also presented with a baldcypress tree for planting in the schoolyard.

Monticello must meet four standards annually to qualify for the Tree City USA award, which is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation. One of the standards is to conduct an Arbor Day ceremony with a proclamation. Monticello is one of only about 50 communities in Arkansas to receive this particular award.

Currently the Monticello Tree Board has ten members. It is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of trees and the development of a sustainable community forest in Monticello through education, tree planting projects, and partnerships. Recent projects have included pruning and tree planting at the city parks. Future projects will depend on grant opportunities and donations. Contributions can be made to the “Trees Are Us” account at Union Bank.

 

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