Cleveland, Tenn. Hosts State Arbor Day Celebration
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 | 07:53am
Cleveland – Recognizing the importance of trees to Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam recently signed a proclamation declaring March 4, as Arbor Day. Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. This year’s state celebration will be held in Cleveland, a Tree City USA community.
“Arbor Day is important for reminding us of the value of trees not only to our rural environment but to our urban areas as well,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson. “TDA is committed to improving forest resources in Tennessee that contribute greatly to our local economy and environment.”
Cleveland earned the honor of hosting this year’s State Arbor Day celebration by being recognized as the state of Tennessee’s Tree Board of the Year in 2010. A tree board is a group of local citizens with an interest and concern for their community’s trees. They are appointed by the city to advise and assist in caring for trees in the community, and are a requirement for achieving Tree City USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation.
The Arbor Day celebration will take place at the Allan Jones Creek Ridge Pavilion on March 4 at 11 a.m. EST. This year’s ceremony will recognize the City of Cleveland as a Tree City USA, Cleveland Utilities as a Tree Line USA and Cleveland State Community as a Tree Campus USA.
Founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. A number of state Arbor Days are celebrated at different times of the year to coincide with the best tree planting weather. Tennessee celebrates Arbor Day the first Friday of March every year.
TDA’s Division of Forestry works to protect the forests that cover half the state and provides more than 42,000 jobs. Forests help promote clean water, wildlife habitat and recreation. Last year, TDA awarded more than $200,000 in Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program community tree planting grants for 26 projects. These grants assist cities and towns in maintaining and increasing their tree resource.