Greenville is celebrating its 22nd year as a designated Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA-Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. In order to become a Tree City, a municipality must meet four standards: establish a Tree Board or department, enact a city tree ordinance, conduct a comprehensive community forestry program and conduct an Arbor Day History observance.
This year’s Arbor Day activities involve Greenville Parks and Recreation, Greenville Independent School District campuses, Greenville Christian School, Meadow Oaks Academy. The elementary schools are participating in a poster contest. In addition, speakers will make presentations at the schools describing the history and purpose of Arbor Day.
A citywide Arbor Day celebration will be held at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center at 10 am. Poster contest winners will be announced, presentations from the schools will also be given by the music classes and refreshments will be served.
The hallmark event of this year’s celebration, as in previous years, is the distribution of approximately 2600 assorted trees to be planted across the city. Varieties include the Texas state tree, the pecan and cherry blossom.
Sterling Morton is the father of Arbor Day and was a newspaper editor in Nebraska. The U.S. celebration occurs each year on the last Friday in April. This is the 146th anniversary in the U.S. and the 129th Anniversary of Arbor Day in Texas. Temple was the first city in Texas to celebrate Arbor Day in 1889. Texas, as many states do, has its own state Arbor Day on the first Friday in November each year.