Lake Saint Louis Celebrates Arbor Day
The ceremony went on despite the rain and participants were rewarded with some tree-related fun and a free tree.
It seems to rain every year Lake St. Louis celebrates Arbor Day and Saturday was no exception. Cold and blowing rain kept the crowd away from the celebration but about a dozen residents braved the weather and came out to participate.
Lake St. Louis celebrated Arbor Day Saturday May 14 in Boulevard Park under the gazebo. This is Lake St. Louis’ tenth anniversary as a Tree City USA and third consecutive year receiving a Growth Award. To achieve TCUSA status a community must meet four criteria: have a Tree Board, have a tree ordinance, hold an annual Arbor Day event and spend a minimum of $2 per capita on trees. Lake St. Louis has met these criteria for ten years.
This year's celebration featured a proclamation by Jim Bowers, Chairman of LSL Arbor Day, who read a poem and explained the history of Arbor Day. He was followed by Mark Grueber, Missouri Conservation Forester, presenting an award celebrating ten years to LSL Alderman John Pellerito and the LSL Tree Board, consisting of Jim Bowers- Chairperson, Ann Finklang -Secretary, Chris Griffith (not in attendance), Susie McDonald and Joe Mulitsch.
Lake Saint Louis Arborist Lorri Grueber gave a special presentation of a plaque dedicated to the Roots of Remembrance grove in Boulevard Park. All trees planted in remembrance of a loved one are planted in Boulevard Park and a small plaque is embedded in cement at the base of each tree. This Roots of Remembrance Plaque will be placed at the beginning of the walking path.
Next came a fun limerick of “I can name 50 trees today” by Larry Quiggins dressed as the Cat in the Hat. His two helpers held posters of all the trees Larry named as an educational assistance to his limerick.
The Arbor Day tree selected for planting is a Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and the ceremonial planting was delayed until Monday.
An original painting by artist Lois Marie Staples was unveiled for raffle. The painting will be displayed in City Hall until the drawing to be held this fall at the "Root Ball” event (details of this event to be announced later). Raffle tickets for the painting will be $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased from any Tree Board member and at City Hall.
Everyone attending received a passport to several local businesses sponsoring the Arbor Day festivities for free items. This included Greene’s Country Store for a free bag of mulch, QT for one free tree (choices were White Pine, Serviceberry, or Hackberry), plus one free hot or cold drink. (I definitely chose the hot drink). There were also coupons to sponsors Dave’s Spot Tree Service, Hansen’s Tree Lawn and Landscape, Select Tree Service and Guru Unlimited. Additional sponsors are Cuivre River Electric Cooperative and Newstime.
A very short history of Arbor Day
Arbor Day began in 1855 in Nebraska. J. Sterling Morton and his wife were early settlers who missed the forests back east. They began planting trees for lumber, windbreaks and fuel and orchards for fruit.
In 1872, Morton proposed that a day be set aside each year for tree planting, with prizes awarded to the county planting the most trees. That first Arbor Day was successful, with more than a million trees planted. Other states began passing resolutions for similar observances, and by 1920, more than 45 states had official celebrations of Arbor Day.
Morton's home in Nebraska, Arbor Lodge, features a memorial with Morton's own words: "Other holidays repose upon the past - Arbor Day proposes for the future.”
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