Although Arbor Day is usually celebrated in early April, Newport figured that the 14th of December would work just as well. And a group of Newport Recreation Department after school program kids were all too happy to provide some of the labor.
Oregon’s coastal marine climate makes just about every day a good day to plant something along the coast. In this case, a young White Pine was drafted to become part of Newport’s application to become a Tree City USA community. The National Arbor Day Foundation (NADF) sponsors communities to learn about, preserve and expand urban forests across the country.
Before the little White Pine was given a new home, Newport Tree Board Chair Nancy Steinberg carefully reviewed the way trees should be cared for, protected as well as their benefits to wildlife, water quality and scenic beauty. Comments were also made by Newport Mayor Mark McConnell about the values of trees and their many contributions to the Earth’s environment. When the mini-aborist lecture (along with questions and answers) was completed the kids began digging the hole to plant the newest addition to the city’s recreation center’s greenery.
One by one each child took a turn at the shovel making making a new home for the tree. When the hole was deep enough, the tree was placed in the middle while some of the dirt was filled back in and gently tamped down. Parks and Recreation Director Jim Protiva put the finishing touches on the transplanting operation.
Protiva said that the National Arbor Day Foundation encourages communities across the nation to become Tree City USAs by meeting four standards:
* The community must have a tree board or department.
* The community must have established on ordinance for tree care.
* There must be a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.
* The community must have an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
By fulfilling these four requirements Newport is in a good position to join the ranks of cities and other communities across the country to be inducted into the Tree City USA family. One significant benefit to becoming a Tree City USA community is becoming eligible for NADF grants that improve city tree preservation programs.