Comfortable spring temperatures and bright sunny skies made the perfect backdrop for the Arbor Day ceremony in Farmington on Friday.
“It’s a gorgeous day,” Parks and Recreation Director Chris Conway told those in attendance. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
The ceremony was held near the Farmington Dog Park – on the southern edge of the newly-named Veterans Park on Perrine Road.
In attendance were representatives from the Farmington Garden Council – made up the Nancy Weber Garden Club, Twenty Five Gardeners, Evening Primrose Garden Club, and Flora Garden Club.
In addition to the planting of a red maple in observance of Arbor Day, the ceremony was also an opportunity for Becky Fletcher from the Missouri Department of Conservation to officially announce Farmington’s designation as a Tree City USA.
“This program recognizes communities that go above and beyond to make sure the trees in their community are alive and well,” she said. “I know a lot of people worked many years to make this happen and it is something to be proud of.”
Farmington is now one of the more than 100 communities in Missouri receiving the Tree City USA designation – the first one in the area.
Tree City USA, according to the arborday.org, is a national recognition program that began in 1976. The program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters.
A town or city must meet four standards established by The National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters to be certified.
Those standards include a tree board or department, passing of a tree care ordinance, community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita and holding an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Conway read a statement from Tree Board President Chad Follis about the city’s designation as a Tree City USA.
“Farmington continues to show why it is a regional hub for work and life endeavors,” Conway read, “by bringing people together – a diverse group of private citizens, local government, local garden clubs – to promote the values that trees have on our lives.”
Also participating in the ceremony was Tina Kater of Twenty Five Gardeners. She read the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.
Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or firstname.lastname@example.org