Oak Ridge to Celebrate Arbor Day on March 1


City of Oak Ridge officials will join the Oak Ridge Environmental Quality Advisory Board (EQAB) for the 34th Annual Arbor Day Observance on Friday, March 1, 2019. The event is set to begin at 10 a.m. at Glenwood Elementary School, located at 125 Audubon Road.

The ceremony also marks the 31st year that the City of Oak Ridge has been recognized as a Tree City USA and the fifth year for the City of Oak Ridge Electric Department’s recognition as a Tree Line USA Utility by the Arbor Day Foundation.

This year’s Master of Ceremonies is Michelle Campanis, UT Arboretum Education Program Coordinator. At the ceremony, Area Foresters with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry will present the Tree City USA and Tree Line USA Utility awards to Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch. The Arbor Day ceremony will also include the planting of a Red Sunset Maple tree donated by the City of Oak Ridge. Glenwood Elementary School students, along with Cub Scouts from Troop 123, will participate in the program.

Tree City USA recognizes towns and cities that develop comprehensive urban forestry programs. Tree Line USA honors utilities with a commitment to proper tree pruning, planting and care in the local service area. Communities must reapply for both designations annually.

To become a Tree City USA, a community must meet four standards: a legally constituted tree board; a community tree ordinance; a comprehensive community forestry program supported by a minimum of $2 per capita; and an Arbor Day proclamation and public tree planting ceremony.

A Tree Line USA Utility must meet five program standards: follow industry standards for quality tree care; provide annual worker training in best tree-care practices; sponsor a tree-planting and public education program; maintain a tree-based energy conservation program; and participate in an Arbor Day celebration.

Previous Arbor Day observances have been held at locations throughout the city, including the Oak Ridge Civic Center, Senior Center, UT Arboretum, Cedar Hill Park, and at Willow Brook, Woodland, Linden, and St. Mary’s Schools.

For more information, contact Jon Hetrick, Director of the City’s Recreation and Parks Department, at (865) 425-3446.