In honor of the 50th anniversary of Arbor Day in Alaska and Ketchikan’s 8th year as a Tree City, USA, a tree-planting ceremony took place Monday at City Park.
Tree Board Chair Laura Charleton made opening remarks. She says the 12-foot yellow cedar was donated by North Shore Gardens. Charleton gave a brief history of Arbor Day nationally and in Alaska, and quoted Arbor Day Founder Julius Sterling Morton. She also shared her own thoughts.
“J. Sterling Morton said, ‘Other holidays repose upon the past, but Arbor Day proposes for the future.’ And I’m grateful that Ketchikan’s a Tree City, USA and we’re caring for our trees a little better than we ever did before. Hopefully that tradition will continue on. With the support of our mayor, it’s priceless to me.”
Borough Mayor David Landis read from a proclamation he would sign later this evening.
“…and whereas trees enhance the economic viability, increase property values and beautify our community…and whereas Arbor Day is recognized throughout the world and encourages the planting and caring for trees. Therefore I, David Landis, Mayor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, on behalf of the citizens of the community of Ketchikan, do hereby recognize May 16, 2016 as Arbor Day in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and urge all citizens to recognize the importance of the appreciation, wise use and propagation of trees and forests for the well-being of future generations.”
Landis was given a golden shovel to toss in the first soil. Members of the Society of American Foresters, Parks and Recreation staff and Tree Board members also assisted.
Alaska celebrates Arbor Day the 3rd Monday in May. National Arbor Day is on the last Friday in April.
Charleton says she helped 3rd-graders plant two trees at Fawn Mountain Elementary School earlier this morning. Those were a flowering dogwood and tri-color beech tree donated by the Alaska Community Forest Council. Charleton says each student received a Colorado blue spruce sapling to plant.