Arbor Day is a nationally celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. All 50 states celebrate Arbor Day, and though President Richard Nixon declared the last Friday in April as the official day, most states designate their day of observance based on climate.
In Florida, due to our wonderful year-round weather, we celebrate Arbor Day on the third Friday of every January.
This year, the Village of Palmetto Bay decided to host a two-day celebration that would appeal to both the youth of our community and adult residents. The first village Mayor Eugene Flinn is a strong advocate of “greening” and with his leadership we have been designated a “Tree City USA.”
On Arbor Day morning, Jan. 21, our current Mayor Shelley Stanczyk and members of the village council assembled at Westminster Christian School, the winner of a poster contest conducted among village elementary schools. Following evaluation by contest judges, members of the Village Tree Board, fifth grade student Patrick Pami was named winner. Second place was awarded to fifth grader Katelyn Rincon of Christ Fellowship. As a result, a tree was planted at Westminster and another was given to Christ Fellowship to be planted later on their campus.
On Saturday, Jan. 22, Palmetto Bay hosted a tree giveaway event for local residents. A wide variety of tree types were available at the “Shade Palmetto Bay” event, compliments of our generous program sponsors Ramada Nursery, Groundkeepers Inc., and Santa Barbara Nursery. This event, boasting 300 free trees, was held at Ludovici Park. Village Park and Recreation staff and Public Works employees assisted by registering residents and distributing the trees.
Plans already are in the works for next year’s event and hopefully there will be more trees to be planted throughout Palmetto Bay as a result.
Many who participated in the tree giveaway agreed it was great way to spend a Saturday with the family and neighbors. But on a more global level, the event helped to raise awareness of the importance of trees — while further beautifying our village at the same time.
This is what local government is all about offering wonderful programming, engaging with our residents, and doing the right thing for our environment.
We look forward to seeing you at the grand opening of Thalatta Park on Feb. 13.
Visit the village’s website at www.palmettobay- fl.gov for photographs and details of village events.