Palmetto Bay marks National Arbor Day with tree plantings

Palmetto Bay marks National Arbor Day with tree plantings
A tree is planted in Palmetto Bay Park to celebrate National Arbor Day.

Palmetto Bay celebrated National Arbor Day on Apr. 30 with a tree planting ceremony at Palmetto Bay Park.

Members of the community, along with past and present winners of the Mayor’s Environmentalist Award and village residents were present to witness the planting of two beautiful Japanese fern trees to commemorate the day and recognize winners.

Mayor Karyn Cunningham thanked Councilmember Patrick Fiore for bringing legislation before the council proclaiming the third Friday of each April as National Arbor Day in Palmetto Bay and explained that National Arbor Day is intended to encourage residents to plant native trees on this day and throughout the year.

“It feels great to sponsor legislation such as this one,” Councilmember Fiore said.
Councilmember Steve Cody added that he had enjoyed celebrating National Arbor Day for quite some time and Councilmember Marsha Matson delighted the audience with a poem by Thomas Nash.

Two native trees were selected for the planting in recognition of Henry Clifford, winner of the 2020 Mayor’s Environmentalist of the Year Award and Dr. Leo Llinas, this year’s winner of the same award.

Mayor Cunningham spoke of some of the many accomplishments attained by these two Palmetto Bay residents.

Clifford, a retired firefighter and paramedic, who now serves on the village’s Tree Advisory Board, is a “walking encyclopedia on everything green, from poison ivy to the mighty oak,” Mayor Cunningham said.

Dr. Llinas, “who holds a PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Miami,” has “presented at conferences and workshops to train public and private school educators to integrate climate literacy into their curriculum,” the mayor said.

During the event, Mayor Cunningham also recognized the winner of the Earth Day 2021 Art Contest: seventh grader Faith Quammie from Southwood Middle School. The school has won this contest for five consecutive years.

Following the recognitions, Mayor Cunningham accompanied by the rest of the village council and attendees proceeded to plant the two new trees at the Palmetto Bay Park playground.

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