Town celebrates Arbor Day | SteamboatToday.com

Town celebrates Arbor Day

Hayden sixth-graders did not mind getting a little dirty Friday to celebrate Arbor Day.

Shovels were on hand to plant a Blue Spruce in Dry Creek Park, but most of the kids chose to use their hands to move the dirt into the hole around the tree that also commemorated Hayden’s centennial.

“That’s a custom-planted tree there,” assistant state forester Vince Urbina said.

The tree planting celebrated Hayden’s first year of being designated a Tree City USA, part of a 30-year-old national program that recognizes communities that dedicate a certain amount of resources to planting and caring for trees.

“It’s mostly a pat on your back,” Urbina said. “It shows … that you care about trees.”

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

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Last year, the town planted 75 trees in the Dry Creek Park area. This year, the town plans to dedicate the entire $4,500 budgeted to making sure the town’s trees stay healthy.

After the students helped plant the tree, forestry workers did tree trimming demonstrations along Jefferson Avenue.

“Rule No. 1 is dead wood comes off,” Urbina told the sixth-grade class.

Next, branches are cut that are growing into other branches. Never cut more than 25 percent of the tree’s branches, Urbina said.

The expertise from three state foresters was useful for parks and recreation supervisor J.D. Paul, who oversees maintenance of the town’s trees and is still fairly new to the job.

“It’s really great having these guys here,” Paul said.

As part of becoming a Tree City USA, sixth-graders did an inventory last fall of the trees in the town. Locations, species and the health of trees have been plotted on a map of the town.

Hayden fourth- and fifth-graders made posters to help celebrate Arbor Day. This was the first time students participated in the contest. Fifth-grader Cole Miller’s poster placed first and will be sent to the state contest.

“Getting kids tied into this program is really important,” Urbina said.