Warwick celebrates Arbor Day

'Why not hug a tree today?'


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  • By Roger Gavan Guest speaker Patricia Reinhardt, chair of the Arbor Day Committee, a former schoolteacher and member of the Warwick Valley Gardeners, spoke about the origins of the celebration and how the idea, which quickly spread throughout the country, was first observed in Nebraska in 1872.




  • Several children from each class were invited to take turns shoveling some dirt to help plant the new tree.(Additional photos can be found online at warwickadvertiser.com.)




  • Shade Tree Commissioner Roger Metzger, a 48-year veteran of the commission and the commissioner for more than 40 of those years, welcomed the group




  • During the ceremony, the first graders also sang a special song about trees that they had practiced for the occasion.



— On Thursday, April 24, approximately 90 children from the Park Avenue School first grade classes of Charlene D'Angelillo, Jennie Theologis, Donna Berghan, Dori Myers and Felicia Ellis marched to Stanley-Deming Park.

It was the day before the official Arbor Day and they were on their way to celebrate the planting of an Acer rubrum (Red Maple) tree by members of the Village Department of Public Works.

'Tree City' 31 years in a row
The Shade Tree Commission, which is responsible for planting and maintaining trees throughout the Village, organizes the annual event.

Shade Tree Commissioner Roger Metzger, a 48-year veteran of the commission and its commissioner for more than 40 of those years, welcomed the group and introduced Mayor Michael Newhard, who welcomed the children and reported that Warwick had once again been named a "Tree City, USA" for 31 consecutive years. The designation is awarded by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

According to the National Garden Bureau, designation as a Tree City, USA is an asset to any town or village. So are a vital shade tree commission, an inventory of trees, a tree planting and replacement policy and a preservation program. The Village of Warwick qualifies in all areas.

The mayor then asked the children to name some benefits that we receive from trees.

The variety of all correct answers included fresh air, a home for birds and animals, paper, houses, beauty and for the first time in anyone's memory, boats.

Celebration's origins dates to 1872

Guest speaker Patricia Reinhardt, chair of the Arbor Day Committee, a former schoolteacher and member of the Warwick Valley Gardeners, spoke about the origins of the celebration and how the idea, which quickly spread throughout the country, was first observed in Nebraska in 1872.

"Now on Arbor Day, " she said, "people plant trees all over the United States and in almost 25 other countries."

She then recited the poem, "Why not hug a tree today."

During the ceremony, the first graders also sang a special song about trees that they had practiced for the occasion.

Several children from each class were invited to take turns shoveling some dirt to help plant the new tree.

Craig Wadeson from Wadeson's Home Center, then handed out hundreds of tiny evergreens donated by his company.

- Roger Gavan

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