Hayden celebrates Arbor Day

Students plant trees at park; Steamboat to hold event in June

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— Friday was all about the trees in Hayden as the town designated as a Tree City USA celebrated Arbor Day.

The town's celebration coincided with the statewide celebration. Arbor Day is observed annually in Colorado on the third Friday of April.

Steamboat Springs holds its celebration annually during Green-Up/Clean-Up Day. This year the community event is June 2.

In Hayden, sixth-graders from Hayden Middle School helped with the planting of several trees at the entrance to Dry Creek Park, which is undergoing a large expansion. Planting trees at the entrance to the park felt like a groundbreaking ceremony of sorts, said Kathy Hockett, Hayden parks and recreation supervisor.

"We cleaned up a picnic area for the park and for the people building our park," she said.

The sixth-graders were impressed with the large pieces of machinery staged at the park for construction.

Colorado state foresters Vince Urbina and John Twitchell were in town to tell the students what to do and what not to do with trees. They demonstrated how to trim a tree.

Erin Stewart, the landscape architect with Landmark Consultants who is designing the park, also took part in the celebrations.

Friday marked the second time Hayden celebrated Arbor Day as a Tree City USA. The designation is part of a 31-year-old National Arbor Day Foundation program that recognizes communities that dedicate a certain amount of resources to planting and caring for trees.

To be a Tree City USA, a community has to develop a tree ordinance, annually spend $2 for each person in town on trees and celebrate Arbor Day.

Another environmentally conscious event will be held in Hayden next month. Hayden Clean-up Day is May 12.

At Steamboat's Green-Up/Clean-Up Day, residents will gather at the Steamboat Springs Community Center 8 to 8:30 a.m. for coffee and snacks before leaving to clean up the city as part of Arbor Day celebrations. This year will be the 17th year Steamboat has received the Tree City USA designation.

After cleaning up city parks and grounds, volunteers return to the Steamboat Springs Community Center at noon for lunch and prizes.

City arborist George Hine will give out tree saplings to volunteers.

"It's usually a pretty good turnout," Hine said. "If it's a really nice day we can get around 100 people."

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