Municipalities hold Arbor Day observances

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Local municipalities will be going green celebrating Arbor Day this month as part of the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program.

Loxley

The town of Loxley will hold its annual tree giveaway on Friday, Feb. 14 at the Loxley Civic Center, 4198 Municipal Park Drive.

Giveaway begins at 8 a.m. and will last until all trees are gone.

For more information call town hall at 251-964-5162.

Bay Minette

The Bay Minette Beautification Committee will hold its annual Arbor Day Tree Giveaway on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Bay Minette City Hall.

The giveaway will begin at 8 a.m. and will remain open while supplies last. Varieties of trees available will include Carloina silverbell, catalpa, red maple, Southern magnolia, sycamore and tulip poplar. Residents will be limited to six trees per household. In addition to the free trees available, Bush Blueberry Farm will be on hand to sell fruit trees and blueberry bushes.

For more information call city hall at 251-580-1625.

Silverhill

The town of Silverhill will hold its annual tree giveaway from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 28 at the Silverhill Community Center, 21918 Third St.

The giveaway includes straw magnolia, bottle brush, sasanqua and sweet olive.

For more information call 251-945-5198.

Robertsdale

The City of Robertsdale’s Park, Street and Tree Committee will host a tree giveaway beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 at the pavilion in Honeybee Park on Alabama 59.

Varieties include gingko biloba, weeping willow, red maple, live oak, long leaf pine, persimmon, yellow poplar, sawtooth oak, sycamore and yaupon holly.

The city will hold a drawing to give away an orange tree in honor of Arbor Day. You must be present to win. For more information call Park, Street and Tree Committee Chairman Sonja Conner at Robertsdale Public Works, 251-947-8950.

The annual Arbor Day celebrations are part of the local municipalities’ qualification as a Tree City USA community.

In order to qualify as a Tree City, municipalities must meet four standards established by The Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation website, arborday.org, the standards were established to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program and were designed so that no community would be excluded because of size.

In order to qualify for Tree City USA status, municipalities must:

• Have a tree board or department.

• Adopt a tree care ordinance.

•Maintain a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita.

• Hold an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Neb., by J. Sterling Morton. The first Arbor Day was held April 10, 1872 and an estimated 1 million trees were planted that day.

Many countries now observe a similar holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.