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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Florence Library hosts annual Arbor Day celebration

Trevor Mickle

The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library hosted the city’s annual Arbor Day celebration on Feb. 22. The event was organized by the City of Florence Tree Commission, led by the president of the Tree Commission, Jackie Hendrix.

The event began with a welcome from Hendrix and a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by Dr. Jennifer Gray, followed by a short presentation from the Mayor of Florence, Andrew Betterton. After this, the winners of the Arbor Day Art Contest were announced by Ms. Debra Dombrowski. The first, second and third place winners of the competition were Taimak A. Nava, Ilee Stewart and Ayleigha Cowart, respectively.

During the event, President Hendrix also gave a presentation about Florence’s designation as a “Tree City, USA.” The title is given by the Alabama Forestry Commission together with the National Arbor Day Foundation to honor and recognize a city’s commitment to forestry in and around its municipality. The Tree City, USA Program traces its origins to 1976 and has included the city of Florence for the past 36 years.

After the event the Tree Commission gave away dogwood tree seedlings to each of the event’s audience members. Attendees were encouraged to plant and grow the seedlings to help continue to nourish the city’s growing tree population and add color to its scenery.

Hendrix, a UNA alumnus and long-time resident of Florence, believes that a primary component of the beauty of the city of Florence is the diverse array of trees found in it. He said, “Just on Wood Avenue, we have trees that have been planted within the last few nights, and we have trees that are over 100 years old.”

“You don’t drive around Florence and see a bunch of stumps on city property. We proactively replant,” said Hendrix. “Watching a tree grow is just as enjoyable as sitting under its shade.”

The Tree Commission was established by the City of Florence in 1887 in order to help cultivate tree life within the city. Today, the Commission impacts the city through its development of the urban forestry program, as well as its maintenance of Memorial Grove, where fallen first responders of Florence and Lauderdale County are honored with memorial benches and pavers.

The celebration of Arbor Day and Arbor Week varies around the country, as the prime tree-planting season also varies from region to region. The national celebration of Arbor Day was established in the state of Nebraska by a man named J. Morton Sterling. The State of Alabama began its own specific Arbor Day celebration in 1887, setting the state’s Arbor Week to be the last full week of February each year.

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About the Contributor
Trevor Mickle, A&E Editor
Trevor is a freshman student from Jemison, Alabama, majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Digital Media Production. Trevor is excited to get involved on campus help keep students informed on important topics in our community.

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