More than 500 Monticello Elementary School students on Monday got a lesson on the benefit of trees and the history of Arbor Day.
Monticello Tree Board member Lee Williams made the presentation to the students and tree board member Hope Bragg distributed to the students pine seedlings donated by the Potlatch Corporation. The school received a Bald Cypress to plant in the schoolyard.
Arkansas Forestry Commission District Forester Joe Friend was also on hand to present to Monticello Mayor Allen Maxwell a Tree City USA Flag in recognition of the city’s 6th Tree City USA award. Monticello is one of about 50 communities in Arkansas to receive the award.
The city must meet four standards annually to qualify for the Tree City USA award, which is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation. One of the standards is to conduct an Arbor Day ceremony with a city proclamation. Maxwell read at the proclamtion at the ceremony.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the students got the opportunity to visit with “special guest”, Smokey the Bear.
The Monticello Tree Board is a 10-member volunteer advisory organization promoting the the benefits of trees and the development of a sustainable community forest in Monticello through education, tree planting projects, and partnerships.
Recent projects included pruning and tree planting at the city parks. Future projects will depend on grant opportunities and donations. Contributions can be made to the “Trees Are Us” account at Union Bank in Monticello.