Arbor Day celebrated next Wednesday

Lovell’s annual fifth grade Arbor Day celebration will be held next Wednesday, April 17, at 12:30 p.m. at Constitution Park.

Arbor Day was officially proclaimed by the Governor of Nebraska in the year 1874. Among the pioneers that moved to Nebraska was a man by the name of J. Sterling Morton. With a deep love of nature, he and his fellow pioneers began to plant trees, not only for their beauty and cooling shade, but for windbreaks, to keep their soil in place and for fuel and building materials.

Morton not only advocated tree planting by individuals in articles and editorials, he also encouraged civic organizations and groups to join in. On the very first celebration of Arbor Day, more than 1,000 townspeople joined in on a march to the opera house where Sterling addressed his audience on the importance of taking care of the earth, saying, “Each generation takes the earth as trustees.”

This year Lovell Elementary fifth grade classes will be planting trees at Constitution Park. They will be assisted by members of the Lovell Tree Advisory Board, Town of Lovell employees, the Forest Service and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area employees and volunteers. This year’s sole sponsor for donations for prizes for the poster contest is American Colloid.

“We’d like to give them a big thank you for sponsoring our event this year,” said tree board member Jennifer Schneider.

This year’s celebration will begin with a Tree City proclamation read by Mayor Bruce Morrison, who will also address the significance of trees in the community. Schneider, Tree Advisory Board chairman, will address how important it is for citizens to become better stewards of the environment in which we live, and will announce this year’s poster contest winners. The District Forester with the Wyoming State Forestry Division will address the importance of trees, tree care and how “We All Need Trees,” which is this year’s Arbor Day poster contest theme, and present the Town of Lovell with the “Tree City USA Award” for maintaining the town’s Tree City USA status.

In order for a community to become a Tree City USA designee, a municipality must proclaim and celebrate Arbor Day, establish a Tree Advisory Board, have a town tree ordinance and spend $2 per capita for trees and tree care.

“Lovell has met these requirements and can carry the name of Tree City USA proudly,” Schneider said.

Here is a helpful tip on how well placed trees can save energy and ultimately save you money:

•Strategically placed trees can be as efficient as other energy saving home improvements, such as insulation or installation of weather-tight doors and windows. Trees can save energy through cooling our homes in the hotter months, and providing wind breaks during the windy winter months. This results in burning less fossil fuel to produce electricity for cooling and for heating. Strategically placed shade providing trees can reduce cooling costs up to 30 percent.

Shade trees offer their best benefits when you:

•Plant deciduous trees, those that shed their leaves during the winter. Deciduous trees are considered the most solar-friendly trees. Deciduous trees also provide shade and block heat during hotter months. By dropping their leaves in the fall, they admit sunlight in the colder months. Place deciduous trees on the west and south sides of your home or buildings.

• Shade hard surfaces such as patios, driveways and sidewalks to minimize landscape heat load.

• Windbreaks can be created by planting evergreens, which retain their leaves or needles yearlong, in a planned landscape pattern around your home. These trees used as windbreaks can save 10 to 50 percent in energy used for heating. Evergreens offer the best benefits when planted to block and slow winter winds, usually on the north side of your home. Do not plant them on the south or west side of your home. They will block warming sunlight during the winter. Evergreens are also beneficial when planted so that they may provide some shading benefits during summer and provide excellent animal and bird homes and habitat.

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