Students at South Salem Elementary School celebrated Arbor Day a day early last week due to the anticipated rainy forecast last Friday.
Principal Laura James provided some background information about what the day means. “As we know, trees provide us with many natural resources. Trees keep soil in place, are used for fuel and building materials and they provide shade from the hot sun,” she said.
After pioneers in Nebraska noticed a lack of trees, a celebration of the planting of trees was held in April of 1872, which is what is recognized as the first Arbor Day. “It was estimated that more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska on that first Arbor Day,” she explained.
Since then, the tradition of Arbor Day has grown and is recognized in all 50 states on the last Friday of April.
“We were going to do this tomorrow, but it’s going to rain which will be good for the trees,” James said on Thursday, April 27.
Mayor Renee Turk read a city proclamation that declared Arbor Day as being April 28. “I urge all citizens to celebrate Arbor Day, support efforts to protect our trees and our woodlands. And I urge all citizens to plant trees to gladden the heart and promote the wellbeing of this and future generations,” she said.
Jeff Ceaser, the city’s horticulturalist, explained to students what his job entails. “I look after all the plants in Salem,” he said. “I have a great crew that helps me do that.”
He noted that the trees that was planted at the school was a forest pansy redbud. Four trees were planted to recognize retiring teachers.
Class officers from the school read a poem about trees before planting one of the redbuds.
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